The White House Search For A Bernanke Replacement Is On, And Larry Summers May Be The favourite

ben bernanke countdown clockU.S. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke listens to questions as he testifies before a House Budget Committee hearing on ‘The Near-Term Outlook for the U.S. Economy’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 17, 2008.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s term expires in January.

This morning, Bloomberg reports that the White House is said to have begun the search process for a replacement.

Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen is one of the frontrunners.

However, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is also getting a lot of buzz in connection with the likely soon-to-be open position.

Politico reported earlier this week that Summers’ star may be rising:

It is an especially timely question now, given that many top Democrats close to the Obama White House suggest the leading candidate to replace Bernanke is not necessarily current Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen — as many in the markets expect — but Larry Summers, the outspoken Harvard professor and former Clinton-era Treasury Secretary and senior Obama economic adviser.

Few Fed watchers think Summers, whose tendency to speak his mind has sometimes landed him in trouble, would be any less inclined to speak at length and on the record about Fed policy than Bernanke. The Fed, the White House and Summers himself, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment. And Summers is also no lock. Other top candidates include TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson, who would be the first African-American Fed chairmn, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Princeton’s Alan Blinder, among others.

Bloomberg followed that up with a similar report this morning:

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is indicating to President Barack Obama’s Wall Street supporters that he wasnts to become Federal Reserve chairman, according to people familiar with the matter, as he keeps in touch with senators who would vote on the nomination.

“As a matter of fact, I have a meeting scheduled with him next week,” Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the Finance Committee, said July 9. “I don’t know what’s on the agenda.”

Summers, 58, who was Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and Obama’s first National Economic Council director, is one of the potential caindidates to succeed Chairman Ben Bernanke, according to two people familiar with the matter, who requested anonyminity. 

Last month, when asked about Bernanke, President Obama said in an interview, “Well, I think Ben Bernanke’s done an outstanding job. Ben Bernanke’s a little bit like Bob Mueller, the head of the FBI – where he’s already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed to.”

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