News / Economy

Considering a New Head for the US Fed

Considering a New Head for the US Fedi
X
September 05, 2013
The man who guided the world's largest economy through the worst financial crisis in decades is expected to step down early next year. The financial press is filled with speculation about who will take over from Ben Bernanke, the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, as the U.S central bank is known. There are many possible candidates, but most of the speculation focuses on just two. VOA’s Jim Randle has this report.
TEXT SIZE - +
— The economist who guided the world's largest economy through the worst financial crisis in decades is expected to step down early next year.  The financial press is filled with speculation about who will take over from Ben Bernanke, the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, as the U.S central bank is known. There are many possible candidates, but most of the speculation focuses on just two.

President Obama appointed Ben Bernanke to a second term as head of the Federal Reserve in 2009.

To fight the recession, Bernanke took unprecedented steps to cut interest rates in a bid to boost economic growth, which came slowly.  

Now, as his term ends, an online Irish betting site "Paddy Power" is taking wagers on who might replace Bernanke. 

One contender is the Fed’s current vice chairman, Janet Yellen, a former economics professor at Berkeley who headed the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and was an economic adviser to the White House.

Bets are also being placed on former U.S. Treasury Secretary, one-time presidential economic adviser and former president of Harvard University, Larry Summers.  

Critics say Summers is too abrasive to win consensus among top fed officials.

But LaSalle University finance professor Walter Schubert says Summers' toughness might help get economic and budget decisions out of the bickering Congress.

"Well, the best argument for Larry Summers, I think, is his personality. He’s driven, he wants to have an impact and I think he would put a lot of pressure on Congress. I think he’d be excellent at pressuring Congress to move in the proper direction," said Schubert.

Rival Janet Yellen is seen by some experts as doing less to push Congress, but more to regulate the economy.

Abby McCloskey researches economic issues at the American Enterprise Institute and says Yellen’s long experience at the fed would reassure investors.

“She is predictable. The markets know what she thinks. When she gets in there, no surprises, no wild cards. We have enough wild cards in the rest of the economy,” says McCloskey.

Michael Cox, a former chief economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who is now at Southern Methodist University, says Yellen is a strong candidate. 

"She is a very good economist in my opinion, more seasoned and more reasoned and more experienced in the fed," says Cox.

But Cox adds that both Yellen and Summers are too quick to meddle in the economy.

Said Dawlabani, author of a book that advocates a new approach to economics, says it's time to put more women in charge of large companies and major financial institutions.

“Because women see the bottom line through the lens of care and responsibility, their leadership style is different than men. Men have to learn to use emotional intelligence; women are naturally equipped with these soft skills," says Dawlabani.

Dawlabani adds that companies and countries would be more prosperous if they focused less on next quarter’s profits and more on the impact that a company has on society, the environment, suppliers, customers and employees.

Choosing the right approach and the right candidate is up to the president, and the candidate must be confirmed by the Senate.

While most news stories focus on just two candidates, Obama has made appointments in the past that were a surprise to most economists.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.