News / Economy

New US Central Bank Chief Now an Open Question

Janet Yellen answers a question from a participant at the International Monetary Conference in Shanghai, China, June 2013 file photo..
Janet Yellen answers a question from a participant at the International Monetary Conference in Shanghai, China, June 2013 file photo..
VOA News
The withdrawal of the leading candidate to head the U.S. central bank leaves it an open question who President Barack Obama might name to succeed outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke.

A key White House economic adviser in the early years of Obama's presidency, Lawrence Summers, withdrew his name Sunday from consideration to lead the Federal Reserve, the country's key monetary policy agency and an important link in the world economy.

His withdrawal could lead to the appointment of the first woman chairman of the Fed, Janet Yellen, currently the central bank's vice chairman. But other economic leaders could also be named.

One leading U.S. economist, Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics, said Yellen is the likely choice and would lead to a continuation of Fed support for the American economic recovery.

"Certainly the expectation now is that it will be the vice chair, Janet Yellen," he said. "Obviously, she was the favorite a few months ago, and I would say she's the favorite again now. That certainly would be continuity in terms of current policy."

Washington officials believed Summers, a former Harvard University president, was Obama's first choice to replace Bernanke, when his term expires in January. But several Democratic senators had voiced opposition to Summers' possible appointment, telling the White House that he was too lax on financial regulation.

In a letter to the president, Summers said hearings on his confirmation by the Senate would have been acrimonious and would not have been helpful for the country's economic recovery from the depths of the 2009 recession.

Obama has not publicly said when he plans to name Bernanke's successor. The president has said he has interviewed Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chairman. Some leading economists in the country are supporting Yellen's appointment.

Speculation over a new central bank chief comes at a key time. Federal Reserve policy makers are meeting this week to decide whether to curtail the economic stimulus measures they have used to try to boost the U.S. economy, the world's largest.

The Fed has been buying $85 billion worth of securities a month to put more money into the economy, but says it may start to trim the purchases and end them altogether by mid-2014. U.S. economic growth has been modest, with expansion of the labor market weakening in recent months.

This week is the fifth anniversary of the start of the world economic downturn, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a U.S.-based investment bank.  Obama said the U.S. economy has advanced since then, but that the labor market needs to expand and looming government spending and debt issues need to be resolved quickly.

The United States in the last five years has imposed new restrictions on operations at large banks, but O'Sullivan said the regulations may not be sufficient to prevent another meltdown.

"I guess I'd have to say no, in the sense that there's certain things perhaps you can't control for," he said. "Certainly, this crisis is going is going to be in our memory for awhile, and I think that will influence behavior, as well as the actions of regulators. But I mean, that said, there are limits to what can be controlled through regulation."

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.