Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Federal Reserve Position In Play

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to play a key role in advising President Barack Obama on whether to reappoint Fed Chairman Bernanke, WSJ reports.

Possible replacements in addition to Larry Summers are, according to WSJ, Roger Ferguson and Alan Blinder, former Fed vice chairmen; Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank; and Christina Romer, chairman of Mr. Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

It's a very inflation oriented group. Alan Blinder at the Future of Finance conference told me he didn't see any significant threat, Janet Yellen has completely changed the tone of her recent speeches, calling for aggressive Fed printing.

Summers is an unknown quantity in this group. At another D.C. conference I attended, Summers clearly stated that inflation could be a problem down the road.

The WSJ article appears to be an attempt to force Obama to move soon on Bernanke. Writes WSJ:

Waiting to decide on Mr. Bernanke has its costs. "The uncertainty about Mr. Bernanke being reappointed has helped to stoke some of the inflation concerns because it does add to the risk that monetary policy gets politicized," said Michael Feroli, a J.P. Morgan Chase economist.
JP Morgan? Isn't that the bank that was gifted WaMu and Bear Stearns?

Now they want Obama to move swiftly on an announcement. Who's behind this? Does Summers think he is peaking and wants Bernanke taken out, now?

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