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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8845
JPY
USD
117.71
GBP
USD
0.6643
CAD
USD
1.2669
INR
USD
62.019

Rates may not be current.