WASHINGTON Aug 27 Lawrence Summers may be a
poster-child for the lucrative revolving door between Wall
Street and Washington. But Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet
Yellen, his chief opponent in the tight race to replace Ben
Bernanke at the helm of the U.S. central bank, is not exactly
Yellen, a former university professor who until recently was
seen as a favorite to take the top spot at the Fed when
Bernanke's second term ends early next year, holds assets worth
between $3.8 million and $11.1 million, according to 2012
disclosure forms released on Tuesday. Including the holdings of
her husband, a nobel-prize-winning economist, she owns between
$4.8 million and $13.2 million worth of assets.
That is well short of the $7.2 million to $24.5 million
range reported by Summers, a former Treasury secretary under
Bill Clinton and ex-adviser to President Barack Obama, in his
most recent government disclosure form covering 2010.
Yet given that both are multi-millionaires, the gap is
hardly large enough to become a sticking point in what has
become an unusually contentious and public campaign for the
central bank's leadership. Both Yellen and Summers are
considerably wealthier than Bernanke, who held between $1.1
million and $2.3 million in assets last year.
Critics of Summers say his work at Citigroup and hedge fund
D.E. Shaw over the years make him too close to the financial
industry the Fed is supposed to oversee. Supporters, however,
argue that his understanding of Wall Street could prove
invaluable in a crisis.
Summers opponents also criticize him for his role in the
financial deregulation of the 1990s that many now blame for
creating the financial crisis of 2007-2009.
Both Summers and Yellen are considered top-notch economists.
At the Fed, Yellen has been very active in developing and honing
the central bank's unconventional policy tools and
Yellen, who reported owning a stamp collection worth between
$15,000 to $50,000, would become the first woman to ever lead
one of the world's major central banks if nominated by President
Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate.
Much of Yellen's wealth was invested in stocks, including
Conoco Phillips and Raytheon, as well as a number of different
retirement funds. Yellen's detractors see her as too "dovish" on
monetary policy, worrying she may be too soft about fighting
inflation because of a strong desire to bring down unemployment.