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Lawrence H. Summers, former US Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton and former Director of the US National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, withdrew his name as a candidate in a race to succeed current Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Summers withdrew Sunday morning and shortly after, wrote Obama a letter reading, “I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation's ongoing economic recovery.”
Summers was believed by many to be Obama’s first choice for Fed chairmanship, but a great deal of opposition—particularly from liberal and women’s groups, and some Senate Banking Committee Democrats—saw Summers as a symbol of the 2008 financial crisis, and all the failures that led to it.
Two other leading candidates Obama has been considering are Janet L. Yellen, current Fed Vice Chairman, and former Fed Vice Chairman Don Kohn. Summers’ decision leaves Yellen as a front runner for the job, Reuters reports.
Investors also saw Summers’ withdrawal as a sign of a market with more risk and lower interest rates, while the dollar also weakened after the decision in the light of the view that interest rates would not rise as rapidly as they had in the past.
You can read President Obama's statement on Summers' decision here.