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Geithner likely to leave before next US fiscal showdown

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is pictured October 24, 2012
US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, pictured October 24, 2012, has indicated he plans to leave the administration.

A new flurry of speculation surrounded US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday, prompting aides to reiterate his plans not to serve in President Barack Obama's second term.

Geithner is still expected to leave around the time Obama is sworn in on January 20, meaning he will not reprise his role as a top negotiator for the president in the next fiscal showdown looming over raising the US debt ceiling.

Several reports said that Geithner would leave by the end of the month, despite the brewing rows with Congress.

Geithner, a key player in Obama's effort to revive the US economy since the worst recession in decades, has long been known to be keen to return to New York, where he was president of the local Federal Reserve Bank.

"Secretary Geithner has previously stated that he plans to be at Treasury until around the inauguration," said a Treasury spokesperson Thursday.

"We do not plan to make any further announcements about the timing of the Secretary's departure until after his successor is named."

Geithner's signal will stir immediate speculation over his successor, with White House chief of staff Jack Lew, a veteran Washington insider, seen as the favorite for the post.

The Treasury secretary had previously delayed his departure to help Obama maintain the economic recovery and to play a major role in the successful effort to avert the fiscal cliff budgetary crisis this week.