Tags: Ferguson | Fed | Yellen | Summers

WaPo: Roger Ferguson Could Be The Next Fed Chief. Roger Who?

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 10:59 AM

By John Morgan

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Show horses Larry Summers and Janet Yellen are getting lots of ink in the speculation over who will be the next head of the Federal Reserve, but Roger Ferguson, a mild-mannered former Fed vice chair whose steady hand was at the central bank tiller following the 9/11 terrorist attack, may also be on the short list.

The Washington Post believes that Ferguson, now CEO of financial giant TIAA-CREF, "has unsurprisingly emerged as a top contender" for the Fed post.

In a faintly glowing analysis of sorts, the Post described Ferguson as a "deliberative, thoughtful leader whose style tends to be more conciliatory than divisive" — perhaps the polar opposite of the sometimes abrasive Summers, in particular.

Editor’s Note:
Obama Blunder Spawns Massive Profit Opportunity

Since Ferguson does not have a clear record of opinion on some of the Herculean problems facing the current Fed, The Post dissected some of his previous statements.

It noted that it is unclear whether he would be aggressive in regulating Wall Street or whether he would be willing to test the boundaries of monetary policy.

Based on Ferguson's statements while at the Fed, he was skeptical of firm targets for inflation, which has been a hallmark of current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Fed Vice Chair Yellen, The Post said.

While his past statements showed support for the Fed's massive quantitative easing monetary program, he apparently did not think it would be the savior of the economy. "Is it going to suddenly jumpstart growth so that next year is much better than this year? I don't think so," he said on CNBC in 2010.

The Post concluded that "Ferguson's writings on financial regulation before the crisis — not to mention his time on the deregulation-minded Greenspan Fed — suggest he might not be the anti-bank crusader some progressives hope for."

In fact, in 2006 while still at the Fed, Ferguson spoke in "glowing terms about financial consolidation and new derivatives markets," The Post reported. Derivatives, in particular, have been blamed for playing a key role in the 2008 financial meltdown.

President Obama told House Democrats this week that there are other candidates for Fed chair besides Summers, even as he defended Summers as a logical candidate.

The Huffington Post reported that female Democrats in the House are putting pressure on Obama to reject Summers in favor of Yellen. Thirty-eight of the 62 Democratic women in the House signed a letter saying that Yellen would be the "best choice" to lead the central bank.

In his meeting with House Democrats, Obama also mentioned a third name as a potential candidate — Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chair.

Editor’s Note: Obama Blunder Spawns Massive Profit Opportunity

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