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Decision on next Fed chief a rare political battle

August 23, 2013 • Business


This photo combo shows Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, left, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to step down when his second term ends in January 2014, and the contest to succeed him has turned into a public struggle between Yellen and Summers. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, J. Scott Applewhite)

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (AP) — Bette Midler wouldn’t normally be expected to trumpet her opinion on who should be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

This time is different.

A battle over what’s arguably the world’s most powerful economic post has turned into an unusually public struggle over two renowned economists — Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to step down when his second term ends in January, and the contest to succeed him is sure to spark chatter at this week’s annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo. While the principals have kept mum, their warring camps have waged a battle that’s riled Congress, spawned opinion columns and sparked commentary from notables like the Divine Miss M.

Midler recalled that before the 2008 financial crisis, Summers resisted efforts to regulate the kinds of risky investments that helped ignite the crisis.

Sample Midler tweet: “HUH. Login to read more

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