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Lawrence Summers withdraws from consideration for Fed chief

WASHINGTON — For weeks, Lawrence Summers had been considered the leading candidate to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman.

A renowned economist, Summers built close ties to President Barack Obama when he led the president's National Economic Council in 2009 and 2010. In that role, he helped orchestrate the administration's efforts to combat the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

But on Sunday, Summers withdrew from consideration for the Fed. His withdrawal followed growing resistance from critics, including some members of the Senate committee that would need to back his nomination.

His exit could open the door for his chief rival, Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice chair. If chosen by Obama and confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would become the first woman to lead the Fed.

In the past, Obama has mentioned only one other candidate as possibly being under consideration: Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chair. But Kohn, 70, has been considered a long shot.


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