WASHINGTON, July 27 U.S. President Barack Obama
has narrowed his choices to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke to "some extraordinary candidates" and will announce
his pick "over the next several months," he said in an interview
with the New York Times.
In the interview, released on Saturday, Obama said he wanted
a Fed leader who would focus on helping the economy grow and not
just work abstractly to keep inflation in check and markets
stable, the Times reported.
"The idea is to promote those things in service of the lives
of ordinary Americans getting better," Obama said. "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,'" he said.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Fed Vice
Chair Janet Yellen are thought to be the two top candidates for
Senior White House officials said earlier this week Obama
had made no decision about who to nominate to replace Bernanke
when his term expires on Jan. 31. Bernanke, who has led the Fed
since 2006, is widely believed not to want to stay on for a
third four-year term.
The central bank plays a key role in guiding the world's
largest economy and has taken on new financial oversight
responsibilities following the worst U.S. financial crisis since
the Great Depression.
Summers is a former economic adviser to Obama. Yellen is a
former Clinton administration official; she would be the first
woman to lead the Fed.