Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Obama's top economic contenders

US President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name leading members of his administration's economic team within days.

They will face the challenge of tackling the economic crisis and managing the $700bn rescue package aimed at revitalising the hard-hit US banking system.

Obama's shortlist of names for the post of treasury secretary is said to include Timothy Geithner, who is the head of New York's Federal Reserve Bank, the former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and the former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker.


Timothy Geithner
Timothy Geithner has demanded reform of the financial system

The 47-year old head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner, was instrumental in shaping the US government's response to the banking crisis.

He played a pivotal role in the intense negotiations which took place before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, and also helped forge the deals involving AIG and JP Morgan.

He regularly speaks about the need for major reforms in the financial system in order to avoid further turbulence.

Before joining the Federal Reserve of New York, Timothy Geithner worked for the International Monetary Fund.

He was also the Treasury's under-secretary for international affairs, from 1999 to 2001.


Lawrence Summers
Lawrence Summers has been credited with the successes during the Clinton era

A leading academic and newspaper columnist, Lawrence Summers held various positions in President Clinton's administration, including that of Treasury Secretary, between 1999 and 2001.

After leaving the government, he became president of Harvard University.

No stranger to controversy, Mr Summers resigned from Harvard in 2006, after a turbulent five years. At the end of his tenure he faced criticism after suggesting women had less "intrinsic aptitude" than men for science.

An ardent supporter of globalisation, he is widely credited by financial markets with the policies that led to the strong performance of the US economy in the 1990s.

In 2008, he published a series of articles advocating stronger government intervention in the economy, arguing that traditional monetary policies were insufficient in order to fight effectively the current financial crisis.


Paul Volcker
Paul Volcker announced in January that he had joined Barack Obama's team

Paul Volcker became chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1979, and served under both President Jimmy Carter and also Ronald Reagan.

He is currently one of Barack Obama's economic advisers.

During his time at the Fed he pursued tight monetary policies to fight inflation. In the 1980s he had the difficult task of shaping the US central bank's policies in a time of stagnation and high unemployment.

He was succeeded as Federal Reserve chairman by Alan Greenspan in 1987.

In 2002, in the wake of the Enron bankruptcy, Paul Volcker headed an independent oversight panel at Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm responsible for auditing Enron.

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