Former White House economic adviser and Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers has withdrawn his name as a candidate for Federal Reserve chairman, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday.
President Obama had been strongly considering naming Summers to the post after their long experience fighting the financial crisis and recession. The decision may mean that another top candidate, current Federal Reserve vice chairman Janet Yellen, will get the job, or another candidate.
In a letter dated Sunday to the president, Summers wrote that he was withdrawing his name.
“It has been a privilege to work with you since the beginning of your Administration as you led the nation through a severe recession into a sustained economic recovery,” he wrote. “This is a complex moment in our national life. 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 faced an uproar of Democratic opposition over the past few weeks as his name circulated as Obama’s top pick, including multiple prominent defections in the past few days. Obama defended Summers against critique but said he was considering a range of candidates and would decide this fall.
Obama has also suggested that former Federal Reserve vice chairman Donald Kohn would be a candidate.
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