Matthew Rutherford played a key role as the Treasury navigated the global financial crisis, the first downgrade of U.S. government securities and a record budget deficit. What lies ahead for him will be much subtler.
“Fear of the unknown” fallout from Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, similar to the concern at the start of the subprime-mortgage market collapse, is keeping volatility high in financial markets, according to Jim Bianco .
Washington is awash in scandals. The White House is fending off inquiries on three fronts: its response to the terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi; the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax exemptions; and the Justice Department’s broad seizure of Associated Press phone records in a leak probe.
It depends on where you look. Stocks within 3 percent of all-time highs and gold down 21 percent so far this year suggest there is little stress, while U.S. credit-default swaps tell a different story. They've spiked dramatically in the past several days.
The U.S. urged China to reduce currency interventions and let markets play a bigger role in setting the value of the yuan, in a report that declined to name any major trading partner a foreign-exchange manipulator.