One of the longest and most contentious elections in American history is over and Democrat Barack Obama has emerged as president-elect, defeating Republican candidate John McCain. Because Obama will inherit an economy in a shambles, instead of basking in the glow of his win, he is going to have to get to work. He has already offered Rahm Emanuel, a congressman from Illinois, a position as his chief of staff. One of his next appointments is likely to be the person who will become Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's successor.
This appointment will be of particular importance because the federal government has already stepped into the financial markets in never-before-seen ways to try to quell the financial crisis, and could take more such steps in the future. The next Treasury secretary play a key role in the deciding how to spend much of the $700 billion from the bailout bill passed in October.
Because further decisions on spending that money are likely to be made in the coming weeks, Obama will need to name Paulson's successor sooner rather than later. In fact, experts predict that the new Treasury secretary will be named prior to the economic summit in Washington D.C. scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15, which will be comprised of 20 of the world's top economies.
The fact that Obama and his campaign have been mum on potential Treasury secretaries hasn't stopped speculation on who he will nominate.
Purported to be on the short list:
-Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
-Warren Buffet, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and an economic adviser to Obama
-Jon Corzine, governor of New Jersey, former U.S. senator and former CEO of Goldman Sachs
-Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve
-Robert Rubin, former Treasury secretary (though Rubin has ruled out a return to Washington)
-Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary