WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has not yet decided whether to step down, the White House said Thursday, amid fresh indications the top economic pointman is under rising pressure to stay.
Geithner, who has led President Barack Obama’s bid to revive the US economy from a deep recession, has been mulling his future following the end this week of a fierce Washington debate over rising the US government’s borrowing limit.
Speculation is mounting on his future as fears rise of a new economic slump and as stock markets absorb heavy losses based on worrying US indicators and worries that Europe’s debt crisis could spread.
“Secretary Geithner has said he hasn’t decided when he will leave and he has said he will be here for the foreseeable future,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
“That’s what he tells us. And, you know, he’s obviously a key member of the economic team, his service has been extremely valuable to the president, to the administration, to the country.”
The White House is understood to want Geithner to stay on and sources on Thursday praised his performance in testing economic times.
A Geithner departure would leave Obama searching for a new Treasury chief as he cranks up his 2012 reelection bid, and could further unsettle markets already spooked by signs the economic recovery is stagnating.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Geithner had been under intense pressure from the White House and was expected to remain in his post.