White House not yet vetting Yellen for Fed
By Mark Felsenthal and Jonathan Spicer, ReutersWASHINGTON/NEW YORK -- The White House has yet to begin vetting Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen to take over the top job at the U.S. central bank, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation, after one report said the process had begun for her main rival for the job.
August 29, 2013, 11:30 am TWN
Picking a replacement for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose second four-year term ends in January, is one of the most important jobs President Barack Obama faces. The White House has said the president has not made up his mind and that no announcement is likely until the fall.
Even so, based on comments by the president and news reports, the selection process has become what appears to be a two-person competition between Yellen and former White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers.
CNBC on Monday reported that Summers is likely to be named Fed chairman in a few weeks but that he was still being vetted and that the process might take a little longer. On Tuesday, CNBC described its source as someone “pretty close but somewhat removed” from the process. Reuters was unable to verify the report.
Many outside observers believe Summers' close association with Obama makes him the favorite, and the suggestion that Obama has yet to begin the process of determining whether there may be something problematic in Yellen's background may reinforce that view.
“I don't think it's dispositive. But (it's) an indication,” said a source close to the White House.
All sources declined to be named given the sensitivity of the decision. The White House declined to comment on the issue and a Fed spokeswoman said Yellen could not be immediately reached for comment.
The formal vetting process begins in the White House. Once the president settles on candidates, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is asked to do an investigation and check information.