Page 3 Profile: Jacob Lew, US treasury secretary nominee


The man to replace Tim Geithner?

Jacob "Jack" Lew is President Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary and faces a tough first few weeks in the job with political wrangling over the amount the Government can borrow. But so far all the talk seems to be about the unwieldy nature of his signature.

It's hardly a model of clarity

The eight-looped (some say seven, preferring to see the first as a soft "J") signature has been described by New York Magazine as a "slinky that's lost its spring". Handwriting experts said it could mean he's a man who keeps his cards close to his chest or is simply soft and cuddly.

Professional graphologist Kathi McKnight said there were similarities between Mr Lew's handwriting and the script of Princess Diana. "Well, Princess Di had very loopy writing," she told The Washington Post, adding: "People with illegible signatures… like to keep some things private." One commenter suggested it could be a "surrealistic representation of the US economy, circa 2008" .

Surely this is not a matter of national importance?

Well, Mr Lew's scrawl would appear on every dollar banknote, so his current signature won't delight the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Mr Lew's predecessor, Tim Geithner, reformed his own autograph for this very reason.