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Lew and Sandberg Top Short List for Treasury

President Barack Obama, fresh from his re-election victory, will have to turn his attention quickly to naming a new Treasury Secretary, one of the most powerful positions in world finance.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will stay through inauguration day, Jan. 21, the White House said, leaving Obama to find someone else to take on the challenge of working with a fractious Congress to push through tough budget and tax reforms.

Below is a list of potential successors for Geithner:

JACK LEW

Lew — an Orthodox Jew whose Sabbath observance has been aided by both presidents Clinton and Obama — is currently Obama’s chief of staff. The former White House budget office director and one-time State Department deputy helped negotiate a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling last year. Lew previously worked as chief operating officer of Citigroup’s alternative investments. He also served as former President Bill Clinton’s budget chief and as a top domestic policy adviser to then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill.

ERSKINE BOWLES

Bowles, who served as President Clinton’s chief of staff, was tapped by Obama to co-chair a bipartisan deficit-reduction panel along with former Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican. The plan devised by their panel called for $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenue. Bowles co-founded private investment firm Carousel Capital and was a partner at another private investment firm, Forstmann Little & Co.

ROGER ALTMAN

Altman is co-founder and executive chairman of investment firm Evercore Partners. He served as deputy Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration and also served at the Treasury under former President Jimmy Carter. Altman started his investment banking career at the now-defunct Lehman Brothers. He had a heart transplant while working at Evercore, and while waiting for his new heart is said to have given advice on a multi-billion-dollar takeover deal from his hospital bed.

GENE SPERLING

Sperling serves as Obama’s National Economic Council director, a position he also held under Clinton. Before taking up his latest post, Sperling was a Treasury counselor under Geithner, providing policy advice on fiscal issues, job creation and other domestic policies

LAURENCE FINK

Fink is a founder and chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. BlackRock was among the U.S. fixed income companies chosen to help the federal government mitigate the financial crisis by managing its program to sop up toxic assets from the market. Fink has long been rumored to be interested in the job.

SHERYL SANDBERG

Sandberg, a former Forward 50 honoree, is chief operating officer at Facebook. She served as a Treasury official in the Clinton administration and was previously Google’s vice president of online sales and operations.

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