Business, Economics and Jobs

The new Fed chairman won't be Larry Summers


LONDON - MARCH 25: Lawrence H. "Larry" Summers, former U.S. Treasury speaks during a financial and economic event at the London School of Economics (LSE) on March 25, 2013 in London, England.



Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen has emerged as the front-runner to become President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, after Lawrence Summers pulled his name from consideration over the weekend.

Summers, the former United States Treasury Secretary who served Bill Clinton and closely advised Obama, called the president on Sunday.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 118 points Monday on the news.

"I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation's ongoing economic recovery," Summers said in a letter addressed to President Obama and cited in the Wall Street Journal.

Opposition to Summers has been mounting for weeks but the fatal blow for his support may have come on Friday from Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who announced he'd vote against Summers if he was nominated.

In a switch up from the usual Washington partisan politics, it's actually Democrats who are unhappy with Summers as a nominee.

Liberal Democrats blame Summers for his role in deregulating the financial markets when he served as Clinton's treasury secretary.

POLITICO reports that at least three other Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee — Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — were expected to vote against Summers' nomination.

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Obama accepted Summer's withdrawal but praised his former economic adviser.

"Larry was a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it was in no small part because of his expertise, wisdom and leadership that we wrestled the economy back to growth and made the kind of progress we are seeing today," Obama said in the statement.

"I will always be grateful to Larry for his tireless work and service on behalf of his country, and I look forward to continuing to seek his guidance and counsel in the future."

The decision will force Obama to find a replacement nominee now that his rumored favorite is no longer an option.

The other candidates for the job are Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen and former Fed Vice Chair Donald Kohn.

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was also listed as a possibility but has said he's not interested.