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Guess the Next Fed Head

July 27, 2013

The econ-blogs and mainstream papers are all agog over the two candidates considered top contenders to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chief, with many setting it up as a titanic battle of East and West—coasts, that is.

In the Left Coast corner is Janet Yellen, Fed Vice Chair and Berkeley Professor Emeritus, representing right-brained California generally and Berkeley specifically—as well as the nation’s women.

Standing in for the testosterone- and cholesterol-burdened East Coast is Larry Summers, erstwhile Harvard president and Director of the White House Economic Council until 2010.

Many think the two are a toss-up on economic policy, and a fair number give Summers the edge.  But even those who think Summers should get the job—at least, over Yellen—aren’t necessarily feeling warm and fuzzy about him.

They feel his record is spotty, and they are less than charmed by his bullying ways.

And then, of course, there are the people who just think Yellen is the better candidate.

We like Yellen; she’s competent and personable. She works through consensus rather than intimidation.  But we want to point out a couple other qualified Berkeley women: Christina Romer and Laura D’Andrea Tyson.

Just saying.

—Wendy Miller

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