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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Treasury Secretary Speculation

by Calculated Risk on 11/05/2008 10:36:00 AM

There is plenty of speculation this morning about possible nominees for Treasury Secretary. Bloomberg mentions former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and NY Fed President Tim Geithner:

Summers, 53, is favored to return to the Treasury post that he held under President Bill Clinton because Obama values his experience and familiarity with markets and global leaders ... Still, people close to the president-elect stress no final decision has been reached and that Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, is also a strong contender.
Another person frequently mentioned is JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Goldman Sachs conference call this morning on impact of election (my notes):
President-elect Obama will face a significantly deteriorating economy. The risks are to the downside of Goldman forecast of -2.0% GDP in Q4 and -1.0% in Q1 2009, and upside risk to Goldman unemployment forecast (peak of 8.0%).

Currently expect $200 billion in stimulus. Now, with Democratic control of government, expect to see a larger economic stimulus package of at least $300 billion, maybe as high as $500 billion. It's possible there will be a smaller stimulus package this fall, and then a 2nd bill early next year (late January or February).

Also expect to see more emphasis on mortgage modifications. Expect something similar to the FDIC proposal - also might see 90 day foreclosure moratorium.

Healthcare reform and tax policy discussions will probably be pushed out for a year or two - unless some of the tax proposals are part of the stimulus package.

Expect significantly larger budget deficits over the next two years.

Other issues will probably be pushed out (healthcare reform, energy and environmental policies).

Q&A: Hatzius says the probability of depression is 'very low' unless we see phenomenal mistakes from Fed and Government - and he doesn't expect those mistakes.