Summers rises as Obama pick to head Fed
By Virginie Montet, AFPWASHINGTON--Larry Summers, former chief economic adviser to President Barack Obama, appears increasingly likely to be his choice to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chief, according to U.S. media.
September 12, 2013, 12:12 am TWN
Even though he has drawn criticism, notably from Obama's own Democratic Party, for being too cozy with Wall Street, Summers, 58, has the president's confidence after helping to lead the country out of recession, The Washington Post says, citing people close to Obama.
The White House remained mum Monday.
“We don't have any comment on personnel issues,” a White House spokesman told AFP.
Obama has indicated he would announce his Fed nominee in the fall, which means it could come any time now. The president's nomination of the Fed chairman for a four-year term requires approval from Congress.
In late July, when several Democratic senators sent a letter to the White House calling for the nomination of Janet Yellen, the central bank's number-two, Obama vigorously defended Summers, a former Treasury secretary under the Clinton administration.
Obama “was defending Summers from attacks in the left and in the media that he felt were very unfair,” said Gerald Connolly, a Virginia Democrat in the House of Representatives who witnessed the president's spirited defense.
“This was defending someone he sees as his friend and a loyal public servant,” the lawmaker said.
However, seeing Summers's star rising in the press, some Democratic lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee have suggested they would not support his nomination. Their defection augurs a difficult confirmation process in Congress.
Wielding the power over interest rates for the world's largest economy, which can impact other economies, the chairman of the Federal Reserve is often considered the second-most powerful leader in the United States.
The current leader, Bernanke, 59, was tapped by Republican president George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan in 2006 and steered the economy through the 2007-2009 Great Recession. His second four-year term ends on Jan. 31.