Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew’s signature doodle is making people loopy, including in his native Forest Hills

Posted at 8:59 PM, Jan 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-10 21:04:28-05

Well, kids, let this be a lesson on the importance of penmanship.

Newly nominated Jack Lew has an impressive resume including current chief of staff for the White House.  But to describe his signature as illegible would be kind.

More accurately it looks like something doodled on the side of a notebook. And today the president said he was so shocked by the poor handwriting that he gave his nomination second thoughts.


President Barack Obama has joined the legions giving Secretary of the Treasurynominee Jack Lew a hard time about his signature.

People in Lew’s native Forest Hills could not be more thrilled with the president’s nomination for the next secretary of the treasury.

“I think that’s a great decision as far as the president is concerned,” said Jeffery Ossip of Forest Hills

Jacob “Jack” Lew grew up in the neighborhood and graduated from Forest Hills High School back in 1972.

“It’s a sense of pride in our school.  If a famous person graduated from our school it shows that we can do anything,” said  Gabriele Maurello, a student at Forest Hills High School.

Lew now calls Riverdale in the Bronx his home but says he got his start in Forest Hills.

“As a kid growing up in Queens I had dreams of making a difference in the world,” Lew said.

This bizarre signature could soon be on our money

This bizarre signature could soon be on our money

If Lew is confirmed by the Senate Finance Committee, in addition to dealing with all the intricacies of the federal budget, he will also have his name printed on the money we use each and every day.

The problem is, Lew’s loopy signature has students at his alma mater saying it’s going to have to shape up if it’s on our money.

“I don’t know how to describe that it just looks scribbled,” said  Syaqui Baki, a student at Forest Hills High School.

But handwriting expert Ruth Brayer says the unreadable signature is anything but scribble.

In fact she says Lew’s John Hancock can give us a preview of what he might be like as the next treasury secretary.

“The fact that he used this kind of signature shows that he tends to be a mystery man.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that he’s able to keep secrets.  He’s very private and confidentiality is very important to him,” Brayer said.

Still, Obama says he never knew about Lew’s poor penmanship. And it gave him second thoughts about the nomination.

“I had never noticed jack’s signature [laughs]. And when this was highlighted yesterday in the press, I considered rescinding my offer to appoint him.

The president says Lew assures him he will work on the signature to make at least one letter readable. That way the president doesn’t have to worry about devaluing our currency.