Timeline: Geithner's stormy tenure at Treasury nears end

Wed Jan 9, 2013 12:49pm EST

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(Reuters) - President Barack Obama will nominate White House chief of staff Jack Lew on Thursday to succeed Timothy Geithner as U.S. Treasury secretary, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Geithner, the longest-serving member of Obama's economic team, had a stormy tenure at Treasury, where he was at the center of the fight against the 2007-2009 financial crisis and deep recession.

Here is a look at the highs and lows of his time at Treasury.

November 24, 2008: President-elect Obama nominates Geithner, then president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, for Treasury.

January 2009: Nomination hits speed bump when top Republican on Senate Finance Committee reveals irregularities in Geithner's tax returns. Obama administration says Geithner made common mistake with regard to self-employment taxes and Geithner corrects the problem by paying $25,970 in back taxes.

January 26, 2009: Senate votes 60-34 to approve nomination.

February 10, 2009: Stock markets plunge after Geithner sketches out administration's plan to get rid of banks' toxic assets.

Mid-March 2009: Lawmakers start calling for Geithner's resignation after it is revealed that bailed-out insurer AIG paid $165 million in retention bonuses to employees of unit that destroyed the company with bad derivatives bets.

March 21, 2009: Obama says would not accept Geithner's resignation even if he tried to resign.

March 23, 2009: Geithner rolls out toxic asset plan for second time with more details. Stock markets rally.

Early June 2009: GM files for bankruptcy. The Treasury buys bulk of automaker's assets and takes a 60 percent stake in the company.

Mid-June 2009: Obama announces reforms for the financial system that sets the Dodd-Frank regulation bill in motion. Geithner, a key architect, starts selling the plan to Congress.

July 21, 2010: Dodd-Frank becomes law.

November 17, 2010: GM raises $20.1 billion in initial public offering. Treasury sells $13 billion of GM stock, leaving it with about 500 million shares.

February 14, 2011: Geithner unveils three options for future of housing finance market that range in levels of government support. Obama administration does not choose a specific path but says it wants to eventually wind-down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government controlled financial firms that help finance bulk of new home loans. A revamp of the housing finance system remains unfinished business.

March 8, 2011: Geithner meets then-European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in a surprise visit in Germany ahead of a EU summit to press them to beef up rescue fund for debt-laden euro zone nations.

May through July 2011: Geithner battles with House Republicans over raising the U.S. debt limit.

August 2, 2011: Congress approves increase in debt limit as part of deal that also puts in place a plan to automatically cut $1.2 trillion in defense and domestic programs over ten years if no other agreement is reached to trim nation's budget -- a key element of the so-called "fiscal cliff"

August 5, 2011: S&P downgrades long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch, citing the political dysfunction around the debt ceiling battle. Geithner is outraged and Treasury questions S&P's credibility, noting the agency's initial analysis relied on a government discretionary spending estimate that was $2 trillion too high.

September 16, 2011: Geithner, speaking at EU finance ministers meeting in Poland, rankles some of the ministers as he urges them to beef up Europe's financial bailout fund.

February 22, 2012: Obama administration rolls out corporate tax reform plan that would cut top rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, but declines to push plan ahead of November elections.

August/September 2012: Geithner in spotlight over probe into bank rigging of international interest rate benchmark Libor that dates back to his time at New York Fed. Documents show Geithner urged British authorities to look into how the rate was set, but critics question why New York Fed did not do more.

Late-November 2012: Obama chooses Geithner to lead negotiations with Congress to avert year-end fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax hikes.

December 10, 2012: Treasury announces plan to sell its remaining shares in AIG, says combined Treasury-Fed $182 billion bailout had positive return of $22.7 billion.

December 19, 2012: Treasury says to sell remaining shares in GM within 12-15 months; taxpayers stand to lose billions of dollars.

January 1, 2013: Congress approves deal to avert fiscal cliff. Plan lets tax rates rise only for wealthiest Americans; postpones first installment of automatic spending cuts for two months.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; editing by Andrew Hay)

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