UBS: Here Are Our 6 Top Picks For The Next Fed Chairman Or Chairwoman

austan goolsbee
Austan Goolsbee

Ben Bernanke’s term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve ends on January 31, 2014.  While he could stick around for another term, most Fed-watchers think it’s unlikely.

“[I]t has not been an easy eight years and the magnitude of the role in the post-crisis world has certainly grown,” says UBS’s Drew Matus. “His decision to skip the Fed Conference at Jackson Hole and to give the commencement address at Princeton both suggest that he is preparing for retirement.”

Matus thinks there’s a solid 80% chance that Bernanke steps down.  With that in mind, he offers is list of leading candidates to take the chair.

The probabilities were based on a poll conducted within UBS’s economics department (i.e. Maury Harris, Drew Matus, Sam Coffin, and Kevin Cummins).

Candidate Current Probability Janet Yellen Vice Chair of Federal Reserve 26% Christina Romer Professor, UC Berkeley 20% Roger Ferguson Pres and CEO of TIAA-CREF 14% Austan Goolsbee  Professor, U Chicago and Partner, 32 Advisors 7% Alan Blinder Professor, Princeton 5% Alan Krueger Chair, Council of Economic Advisors 5%
All six leading candidates hold a PhD in economics.

Other candidates with less than 5% probability included Lawrence Summers, Peter Fisher, William Dudley, Jeremy Stein, Timothy Geithner, Donald Kohn, Stanley Fischer, Eric Rosengren, James Bullard, and James Stock.