Business

With Summers out, Yellen is odds-on favorite to run Fed, bookie says

Janet L. Yellen's got the job as next head of the Federal Reserve in the bag -- at least, that's according to Paddy Power, an online Irish bookmaker.

Lawrence H. Summers, who had been widely believed to be President Obama's first-choice pick, withdrew his name from consideration Sunday, setting off speculation as to whether Obama would now tap Yellen for the post.

PaddyPower.com has been tracking the odds of who would be nominated to be the next Fed chief since July. 

The site calculates the odds of a Yellen nomination at 1-8. But as my colleagues Jim Puzzanghera and Christi Parsons reported Monday, the president has other options, including former Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. 

The site pegs Kohn's odds at 5-1 and Geithner's at 14-1.

One reason Obama could go a different way is that he reportedly did not like the public campaign for Yellen by her supporters. As my colleagues wrote, "Obama was upset about the unprecedented public lobbying by Yellen's supporters that helped trigger Summers' decision, according to senior administration officials. That could open the door to another choice to replace Ben S. Bernanke, whose second four-year term as chairman expires in January."

Despite his feelings on the lobbying campaign, those senior administration officials said it doesn't necessarily rule out Yellen for the position.

Summers surprised many when he announced he would remove himself from consideration. Officials told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that he was concerned about a contentious battle in the Senate Banking Committee and that the the White House had told him confirmation would be tough to secure. 

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com

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