Yellen selection no surprise to Reuters poll readers
President Barack Obama nominating Janet Yellen to head up the U.S. Federal Reserve came as little surprise to market watchers who read Reuters polls.
The current vice chair of the central bank was the clear frontrunner in two polls of economists, conducted by Reuters in June and August, to succeed Ben Bernanke when his term expires early next year.
All bar four of 44 economists polled in June thought she would take over although that decisiveness had slipped by August, when eight respondents changed their minds.
Four swapped their allegience to Obama’s former economic advisor Larry Summers, putting him on eight votes out of 39 in the second poll.
Summers, her closest contender, then pulled out of the race in the face of fierce opposition within the president’s own Democratic Party that raised questions about his chances of congressional confirmation.
“After Larry Summers threw the towel in, there was no big suspense about whom President Obama would nominate to chair the Fed,” said Alexandra Estiot at BNP Paribas.
Still, while virtually all the economists polled said Yellen was a shoe-in to be the first female head of the Fed they were not all sure that she was the right candidate.
Around a third of them said Obama should pick someone else, although there was no favourite amongst the dissenters as to who should take the top job with one simply saying “not Janet Yellen”.