Summers Withdraws Candidacy for Fed Chairman

Lawrence Summers will not be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. He has officially withdrawn his name as a candidate for chairman of the central bank.

In a brief statement released on Sunday by the White House, President Obama said that he had accepted the withdrawal. He heaped praise on Summers, saying in the statement that the economist "was a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it was in no small part because of his expertise, wisdom, and leadership that we wrestled the economy back to growth and made the kind of progress we are seeing today." 

Summers is a former Treasury secretary, having served in the position from 1999 to 2001 during the Clinton administration. In the Obama administration, he was director of the National Economic Council from 2009 to 2010. Outside the federal government, he was chief economist at the World Bank from 1991 to 1993, and president of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006.

Summers' withdrawal makes current Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen the odds-on favorite to be named to succeed outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke. Other potential replacements include ex-Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, onetime Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former Bank of Israel Governor (but American citizen) Stanley Fischer.

Bernanke's current term ends on Jan. 31 of next year.

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