White House has mishandled process of picking Fed chair: Fisher

The White House has “terribly mishandled” the process of picking the next chair of the Federal Reserve, allowing the U.S. central bank to be politicized and potential nominees to be denigrated in the process, a top Fed official said on Monday.

2013-09-23T183738Z_1_CBRE98M1FQZ00_RTROPTP_3_USA-REPUBLICANS-CPAC White House has mishandled process of picking Fed chair: Fisher

Picking a Fed chair “should not be a public debate,” Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told the Texas Association of Independent Bankers.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, considered President Barack Obama’s preference, withdrew his name from consideration a week ago, saying his confirmation would incite acrimony.

Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen is now seen as the front-runner.

As a policy dove, she stands at the opposite end of the policy spectrum from the hawkish Fisher, who said she “would make a great chairman,” adding that they exchange a kiss at the start of every Fed policy-setting meeting.

Fisher said there are other possibilities for the post, without naming any.


Obama to promote health care law Thursday

President Barack Obama will promote his health care law in a speech Thursday just days before uninsured Americans can begin signing up for coverage under the law’s new insurance marketplaces.

The speech comes as the law is under attack from Republicans who are trying to undercut it in budget legislation meant to keep the government operating beyond Sept. 30. The address is scheduled at a community college in Washington’s Maryland suburbs.

It will be Obama’s second effort in a week to draw attention personally to the law. On Tuesday he is scheduled to appear with former President Bill Clinton to highlight the law’s benefits. Republicans maintain the law will hurt the economy by placing too many burdens on businesses and on individuals.