Stocks and the dollar swooned briefly on the news of Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's resignation before recovering at midmorning to narrowly mixed levels.
Rubin's departure has been long rumored, and his decision to turn over the reins this July to Treasury's No. 2 man and heir apparent,
, bears the imprint of a cabinet taking the shape of a vice president who is preparing for a presidential run.
Washington whispers have long suggested that Rubin and Vice President
enjoy a distant relationship at best. Meanwhile, Gore's environmentalist supporters have largely forgiven Summers for, while he was at the
, backing a proposal to export hazardous waste from advanced industrialized countries to lesser developed countries.
Speculation that Rubin's resignation will allow him to be considered as the next chairman of the
term expires next summer seems a bit of a stretch. A recent
article suggested that the
administration is leaning toward reappointing Greenspan because it may find it difficult to persuade
to approve other likely candidates like Rubin.
We should expect continuity with Summers at the helm of the Treasury. Look for the financial markets to return to status quo -- personnel changes tend not to have lasting impact on the price of U.S. financial assets.
The timing of Rubin's resignation signals that the global economy is on the mend.
, Rubin is leaving at the top of his game. Try this on for size: "I want to be like Bob." It doesn't rhyme and you can't dance to it, but Rubin will go down in the history books as among the best Treasury secretaries in the modern times.
Marc Chandler is an independent global markets strategist who writes daily for TheStreet.com. At the time of publication, he held no positions in the stocks, currencies or instruments discussed in this column, although holdings can change at any time. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at