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Obama narrows on candidates as successor to Bernanke

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US President has zeroed in on "some extraordinary candidates" to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who can take ordinary people's views into account when deciding the fiscal policy of the world's largest economy.

In an interview New York Times, Obama commented on one of his most anticipated decisions - to find a replacement to Bernanke when his term expires on January 31.

Obama said he had narrowed his choice to succeed Bernanke to "some extraordinary candidates" and he would announce his choice "over the next several months."

With current fiscal policy measurably slowing the recovery, many in business and finance have looked to the Fed to continue its expansionary monetary policies to offset the drag, the Times said.

Obama underlined that he wanted someone who would not just work abstractly to keep in check and ensure stability in the markets.

"The idea is to promote those things in service of the lives of ordinary Americans getting better," he said. "I want a Fed chairman that can step back and look at that objectively and say, Let's make sure that we're growing the economy," the US President said.

On Tuesday, Obama had said the US has fought its way back after suffering one of the worst economic recessions in years and asserted that fixing economy would be the "highest priority" of his second term.

"Five years after the start of that Great Recession, America has fought its way back. We fought our way back," he said in a speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he had delivered his first major economic speech on the national stage in 2005.

Bernanke, 59, who has led the Federal Reserve since 2006, is not apparently seeking a third term.

The leading Fed candidates are believed to be Lawrence H. Summers, Obama's former White House economic adviser and President Bill Clinton's Treasury secretary, and Janet Yellen, the current Fed vice chairwoman and another former Clinton official, the report said.

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