What is the Secretary of the Treasury?

Published by Thomas Herold in Economics, Laws & Regulations

'Secretary of the Treasury' is explained in detail and with examples in the Laws & Regulations edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.

The Secretary of the Treasury is a cabinet level post in the Federal Government of the United States. This important individual bears many significant responsibilities for the country. Treasury secretaries must create and recommend both international and domestic economics, financial, and tax policies to the President of the United States.

The Secretary is also expected to actively participate in creating broad and far reaching fiscal policies that significantly impact the U.S. economy. This leader must generally oversee all activities which the Treasury Department engages in as part of his responsibilities for law enforcement. He is the American government’s foremost financial agent. The Secretary of the Treasury also oversees the process of the department in creating currency and coins which are issued into the American economy.

The Secretary of the Treasury is also responsible for managing and overseeing the national public debt. This has become a more difficult task with government deficits increasing the public debt to over $19 trillion dollars by the third quarter of 2016. Typically the government is forced to borrow nearly as much as it receives in tax receipts to cover the shortfall.

Ultimately the Treasury secretary is responsible to ensure that these issues of government debt in the form of Treasury bonds and bills are successfully subscribed to so that the government will be able to continue to function and pay its bills.

As Secretary of the Treasury, the person in this role is the Federal government’s chief financial officer. He serves on a variety of important boards. One of these is the President’s National Economic Council. Treasury secretaries are also chairmen of a number of critical boards. They serve as Managing Trustee and Chairman of the Boards for both the Social Security Trust Funds and Medicare Trust Funds. They are Chairman of the Thrift Depositor Protection Oversight Board as well.

The Secretary of the Treasury is also the governor of a number of important international institutions. He is U.S. Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter American Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the African Development Bank.

As of 2016, the present Secretary of the Treasury is Jacob J. Lew. President Barrack Obama appointed him in 2013. The United States Senate confirmed this appointment on February 27th of 2013. The new President who takes office in January of 2017 will have the discretion to choose Jacob Lew’s successor.

The Treasury of the United States secretary office is the one office at Treasury that proves to be older than the actual department itself. The first Treasurer received the charge to handle receiving and keeping of government funds. Nowadays, most of these responsibilities have been assumed by one of the many Treasury Bureaus.

The Treasury secretary gained responsibility to oversee both the U.S. Mint and the nation’s BEP Bureau of Engraving and Printing back in 1981. The Treasurer also gained the title National Honorary Director of the U.S. Savings Bonds Campaign in 1994. This is a job that requires them to wear many hats and oversee a number of bureaus within their department. They are assisted in this task by the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

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The term 'Secretary of the Treasury' is included in the Laws & Regulations edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.