Sunday 24 September 2017

Yellen now front-runner for Federal Reserve job

Janet Yellen is now the front runner for the Fed job
Janet Yellen is now the front runner for the Fed job

Jeff Mason and Alister Bull

Federal Reserve vice-chairwoman Janet Yellen became the front-runner for the US central bank's top job when President Barack Obama's preferred candidate, former adviser Larry Summers, withdrew, sources familiar with the situation said yesterday.

If nominated and confirmed, Ms Yellen would replace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose second term expires in January.

Mr Summers, a former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and a top economic adviser to Mr Obama during the first two years of his presidency, dropped out of consideration for the post on Sunday because of opposition among fellow Democrats that would have made it difficult to be confirmed by the US Senate.

Ms Yellen, who has a long career in the Fed system and chaired the White House Council for Economic Advisers under Mr Clinton, would be the first woman to hold the job.

People familiar with the situation said Mr Obama had largely whittled down his decision to two candidates, Mr Summers and Ms Yellen.

With Mr Summers out of the picture, Ms Yellen moved to the top of the list. The US president had mentioned former vice chairman Donald Kohn previously as also being under consideration.

DECISION

An announcement is not expected this week. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Monday that Mr Obama would announce his decision in the autumn.

"Calendar watchers will note that we are still in the summer," Mr Carney said. The autumn officially begins on Sunday.

Analysts and former administration officials said Mr Summers' withdrawal put Ms Yellen in a good position to be appointed. "We believe current Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Janet Yellen is now the clear front-runner, followed by former Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Donald Kohn, with only a slim chance of it being somebody else," economists at Nomura wrote.

"Donald Kohn is an experienced and respected central banker, but he has not worked at the Fed since 2010. Financial markets would likely not react as well to his nomination and they would to Ms Yellen's."

Irish Independent

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