World News

    New US Central Bank Chief Now an Open Question

    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 Mr. 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, told VOA 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. 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Obama, 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.

    Mr. 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.

    Monday is the fifth anniversary of the start of the world economic downturn, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a U.S.-based investment bank. Mr. Obama scheduled remarks today at the White House to discuss the country's efforts to prevent a future economic calamity.

    The U.S. 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. 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."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora