Outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer has refused to rule himself out of the running for the top job at the Federal Reserve, reports the “Financial Times” today. “Fischer, one of the most well-regarded figures in global central banking circles, evaded calls to deny he wished to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chair when his term ends in January next year.”
“Financial Times” adds, “Fischer, who steps down later this month, had previously said he was quitting the Bank of Israel two years before the end of his five-year term for mainly personal reasons. But when quizzed about the Fed job during a visit to London on Wednesday, he made no mention of personal matters, saying only that it was unwise to ‘accept a job offer that no one has made to you’. When pressed to deny his interest, he declined to do so, reiterating that he ‘did not want to get into whether or not he would accept an offer’ if nominated by President Barack Obama.
“Fischer has been considered an outsider to replace Mr Bernanke, his former pupil when he was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, since he announced in January that he would step down as head of the Bank of Israel. It is believed that Mr Bernanke is unlikely to seek a further four years as Fed chair after his second term ends.”
Other candidates to succeed Bernanke include Federal Reserve Board vice chairwoman Janet Yellen and former Department of the Treasury secretaries Larry Summers and Tim Geithner.
“Financial Times” quotes Fischer as saying that he hoped global central banks would return to more “normal” monetary policy as soon as possible. He said that it would be “uncomfortable” for markets if the Fed scaled back quantitative easing, as some “thought it was going to last forever”, and he predicted that quantitative easing would only be unwound very slowly.
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