Tim Geithner's Priorities in China

Employees at Treasury have coined him the safecracker.

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By Alex Kingsbury, Washington Whispers

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a delegation to China this week for a series of economic and diplomatic meetings in Beijing. For Clinton, the agenda includes trying to forge consensus on issues from North Korea and Iran to the improvement of intellectual property rights. Boosting U.S. exports to China, meanwhile, tops Geithner's priority list, but there are a host of other vexing issues in his portfolio, including China's reluctance to revalue its currency and the yawning trade imbalance between the two nations. Fitting then, that employees at the Treasury have adopted a new moniker for their boss: Safecracker. "The name stuck because he's meticulous and intensely focused when he works on these complicated problems; it's like he's trying to crack a secret code or something," says one staffer.

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