Despite Larry Summers's level up on the rumor mill for the next Federal Reserve Chairman, it turns out that even Wall Street prefers Janet Yellen for the role over the man who, apparently, maybe, is Obama's favored choice.
The CNBC poll relies on a very small, but carefully selected, sample of 40 "economists, traders and strategists" inside Wall Street. So take that for what you will. But the results are pretty decisive. 70 percent of those surveyed think Yellen will be the chair. As for who they'd prefer, Summers performed poorly:
Yellen also beats Summers when CNBC asks participants who the president should nominate, with 50 percent choosing Yellen and 12.5 percent saying he should reappoint Bernanke. Even write-in candidate John Taylor, the Stanford University economist, beats out Summers on who the president should nominate.
Yellen, who would become the first female fed chair, was the rumored frontrunner until a few days ago, when the story seemed to suddenly switch in an unlikely (but not impossible) direction: Obama was leaning towards Summers, the former Treasury Secretary who spent time as a key member of Obama's economic team. While it was no secret that Summers wanted the job, that seemed unlikely. But Obama really likes Summers, so who knows?
The current fed chair, Ben Bernanke, finishes his current term at the beginning of next year, and all signs indicate that he will step down. And the rumors from earlier this week of Summers's rise have inspired a wave of written reasons against his nomination. A third of Senate Democrats even sent a letter to Obama urging him to pick Yellen. At the Atlantic, Matthew O'Brien twins a dissection of Summers's weaknesses with a litany of reasons that Yellen is the better pick. Slate wonders why there's even a question over who the next chair should be. And Noam Scheiber at The New Republic picks apart the plausibility of the rumors themselves.