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Treasury job nominee withdraws

/ Source: Financial Times

In an extraordinary flurry of personnel activity, the White House announced that its nominee for deputy U.S. Treasury secretary was withdrawing, then rapidly nominated two existing administration officials to top jobs in the department.

Susan Schwab, AN academic at the University of Maryland, became the second nominee to a senior job at the Treasury to withdraw from contention this week, before the process of being confirmed by the Senate had begun.

She cited undisclosed “compelling personal reasons” for pulling out of the nomination process for deputy Treasury secretary, in a letter to President George W. Bush. She would have been Treasury’s first female deputy.

The White House swiftly announced it was proposing to move Samuel Bodman, currently deputy secretary at the Commerce Department, to the deputy secretary position.

It also nominated Brian Roseboro, assistant secretary for financial markets, to the top domestic finance job in Treasury.

Mr. Roseboro, who was already performing the more senior undersecretary role in an acting capacity, takes the place of Kenneth Leet, a Goldman Sachs executive who withdrew his name earlier this week for unspecified health reasons.

The flurry of activity is the latest in a series of personnel changes at the Treasury. The department, regarded as one of the most powerful in the administration under former President Bill Clinton, has seen a series of recent resignations, including the forced removal of Mr. Bush’s first Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, last December.

The deputy Treasury secretary position has been vacant since Kenneth Dam, the former incumbent, departed earlier this year.

Peter Fisher, the former domestic finance undersecretary, announced his resignation in the summer and left his post earlier this month.

As a current member of the domestic finance team, Mr. Roseboro will be well acquainted with the issues facing the Treasury.

Despite calls from some bond market practitioners and investors, and amid rising government borrowing as a result of the swelling federal budget deficit, Treasury officials continue to say there are no plans to bring back the 30-year bond, discontinued in 2001 as too expensive a way to borrow.