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Treasury chief seen ready to quit post

Snow expected to go back to private sector

WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary John Snow has signaled to the White House he is ready to resign once President Bush has picked a successor, administration officials and people close to Snow said yesterday.

They said Snow has made clear he eventually intends to return to the private sector. They spoke on condition of anonymity because Snow is not ready to discuss his plans publicly.

It's unclear when Snow will offer his resignation, and the president said he has heard nothing about it.

``He has not talked to me about resignation," Bush said at a news conference last night. ``I think he `s doing a fine job. After all, our economy is strong," Bush said, fielding reporters' questions in an appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Snow, meanwhile, still plans on attending a meeting of finance ministers from the world's richest countries June 9-10 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Snow, 66, took over Treasury in February 2003, replacing Paul O'Neill. Unlike O'Neill, Snow hasn't veered from the Bush economic line. Still, the White House is said to want a more effective salesman for Bush's economic policies.

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