Obama spells out Fed chief’s qualities

President Barack Obama has said his nominee for Federal Reserve chairman will be someone who embraces the central bank’s dual mandate to promote price stability and maximum employment, and he has narrowed his choice “to some extraordinarily qualified candidates”.

Obama spells out Fed chief’s qualities

“I think you can anticipate that over the next several months, an announcement will be made,” Mr Obama said in an interview with the New York Times during the week, according to a transcript published yesterday on the newspaper’s website.

The president said he has yet to make a final decision and will announce a choice within “several months”.

Mr Obama isn’t expected to nominate a successor to chairman Ben Bernanke until at least September, an administration official said. Mr Obama wants a chairman who understands the Fed’s dual mandate, the president said in the interview.

“And when unemployment is still too high, and long-term unemployment is still too high, and there’s still weak demand in a lot of industries, I want a Fed chairman that can step back and look at that, objectively, and say, ‘let’s make sure that we’re growing the economy, but let’s also keep an eye on inflation,’” he said.

“If the markets start frothing up, let’s make sure we’re not creating new bubbles,” he added.

Mr Bernanke, whose second four-year term ends on Jan 31, has not yet indicated whether he would seek or accept a third term.

Last month, Mr Obama said the Fed chairman has stayed in the post “longer than he wanted”.

He declined to say who the finalists are, amid speculation that former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers and Fed vice chairman Janet Yellen are leading candidates.

About a third of the 54-member Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter encouraging Mr Obama to nominate Ms Yellen.

Bloomberg

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