Stocks Soar on Reports of Geithner as Treasury Secretary

New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy J. Geithner will be nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to be the country's next secretary of the Treasury, sources tell ABC News.

Pending Senate approval, Geithner will take over one of the most important cabinet positions as the country struggles through a financial crisis and what could be a lengthy recession.

Stocks soared late this afternoon when news reports first started to surface that Geithner's nomination will be made official Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 494.13 points, or 6.5 percent.

It was very good news after two dismal days on Wall Street. Obama's Treasury picks seems to have pleased many investors who are apparently happy with Geithner's familiarity with the markets.

If you examine the life story of Geithner you may think he and Obama are brothers, separated at birth.

That similarity could be the tipping point that gets Geithner the nomination as the next treasury secretary and that leads the nation through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression

While few people on Main Street have heard his name, all of Wall Street knows it well. He is the man who has been a principle architect of various plans aimed at rescuing the nation's financial institutions.

From the collapse of Bear Stearns earlier this year to the lifeline to save insurance giant AIG to the aggressive steps taken by the Federal Reserve System in the last few weeks to thaw the frozen credit markets, Geithner has been at the center of the storm.

The parallels between Geithner's story and Obama's are uncanny. Both men are 47 years old and spent part of their youth living abroad. Both have succeeded despite unusual backgrounds. Both men have developed a cadre of powerful and well-connected people who provide advice and guidance. And both men like the occasional pickup basketball game.

Just as Obama lived for a time overseas, so did Geithner. His father worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and then for the Ford Foundation where he held several positions throughout Asia. Geithner attended elementary school in New Delhi and high school at the International School in Bangkok.

Geithner, Similar to Obama

Geithner attended Dartmouth, like his father and current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, where he earned degrees in government and Asian Studies. While in school, he studied Chinese and spent two summers living in Beijing. He also met his future wife Carole Sonnefeld at Dartmouth. Later, Geithner received his master's degree in international economics at Johns Hopkins where he also studied Japanese.

Living abroad, his father Peter said, exposed Geithner to people from different backgrounds. "I have been most impressed by his ability to bring people with diverse interests together around a table to find some kind of effective solution or steps to be taken."

Upon graduating, he worked for former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for three years before moving to the Treasury Department where he worked for nearly 15 years. Starting as an assistant attaché in Japan, he eventually came to work for Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers and played a key role in the government's response to the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

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