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Obama has not decided on pick for next Fed chief: source

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, in
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, in

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has not made a decision on a nominee to replace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is expected to step down at the end of his term in January, a person familiar with the process said on Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that former White House economic adviser Larry Summers was the front-runner for the post.

Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice chair since 2010, is considered another strong contender.

White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage declined to comment on reports that Summers was in line for the job.

A source close to Obama told Reuters that the president had not made up his mind. An announcement was not expected for some time, probably not until the fall.

Summers is a Harvard economist who was Obama's first National Economic Council director. He also served as Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Though well-liked by his former White House colleagues and the president, Summers could be a controversial choice for Fed chair because of a reputation for rubbing people the wrong way.

Yellen would be the U.S. central bank's first female chief. She previously served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and was chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Clinton.

Obama hinted in a television interview in June that Bernanke would leave the Fed when his second term expires on January 31. Bernanke has brushed aside questions at news conferences about his intentions.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Eric Beech)

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