WASHINGTON: The venerable greenback could begin printing with a loopy signature that looks like a first grader’s doodle if, as expected, the White House names Jack Lew to head the US Treasury. The Treasury Secretary becomes perhaps best known for signing, electronically, every US banknote printed while holding the post. Most of the recent secretaries, including outgoing Timothy Geithner, get away with generally legible, if not elegant, scrawls.
But after the White House hinted that Lew would be nominated to replace Geithner on Thursday, attention focused not on his budgeting acumen but on how his own signature could change the face of the greenback. An example from a September 2011 White House memorandum is a series of eight loops with a tail at the end. It’s a stylish scribble — it starts off with large loops, narrows at the middle and then grows back to large circles at the end — but the name behind it is absolutely indecipherable.
Lew, currently White House chief of staff and twice the White House budget head, is a veteran Washington insider with the serious but low-key demeanor of a seasoned dealmaker, according to people who know him. But the Washington Post quoted handwriting analyst Kathi McKnight as saying that the Lew doodle “indicates that he just might be the cuddly sort.”