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WASHINGTON - US president-elect Barack Obama was poised yesterday to unveil his White House economic team, which faces the monumental task of reversing one of the most serious crises faced by the country's economy in recent decades.
Hoping for a running start in correcting the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Obama was to hold a press conference formally announcing his choice of New York Federal Reserve Bank chief Timothy Geithner, pictured, as treasury secretary.
The pick buoyed markets when Geithner's name was floated on Friday, causing a rebound in the price of shares on Wall Street, which closed in positive territory, ending a slump that saw shares on the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummet last week to their lowest levels since 1997.
Obama's top strategist, David Axelrod, confirmed the president-elect's choice, which was to be made official at yesterday's press conference.
"Tim Geithner is someone who had experience in dealing with economic crises as assistant secretary of the treasury for international affairs in the 90s," incoming White House senior adviser Axelrod told Fox television on Sunday.
"He's intimately involved with the situation now in his role as president of New York Federal Bank.
"By temperament and experience he's the right man to lead the treasury now.
"The response has been great.
"Tim Geithner is uniquely qualified to do this job.
"He's someone who is steeped in the economy and in managing crises."
Obama was also expected to introduce another key member of his economic team.
Lawrence Summers, a former treasury chief in Bill Clinton's administration, was in line to become chief economic adviser.
Axelrod did not confirm rumours that New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is being vetted for commerce secretary. - Sapa-AFP