Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told President Obama he plans to remain in his job through the fall of 2012, keeping in place Obama's longest-serving economic adviser after the first-ever U.S. credit downgrade and renewed fears of a second recession.
Geithner, who has been battling financial crises since 2007 as a top Federal Reserve official and then Treasury secretary, considered leaving the administration after Congress raised the federal debt ceiling and reached an agreement with Obama to tame the national debt.
But several developments have made his departure more difficult. The debt ceiling was raised with only hours to spare. The deal to tame the debt fell short of what Geithner and Obama wanted. The economy has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. And on Friday, Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time.
Geithner told the president Friday that he would remain in his post. Hours later, he had to go to the White House to meet with Obama again and tell him the nation would likely lose its triple-A credit rating.
"Secretary Geithner has let the president know that he plans to stay on in his position at Treasury," Treasury spokeswoman Jenni LeCompte said in a statement. "He looks forward to the important work ahead on the challenges facing our great country."
White House press secretary Jay Carney said: "The president asked Secretary Geithner to stay on at Treasury and welcomes his decision."