larry summers fed

This week should remove any doubt about whether markets are highly dependent on the Fed. They sure are. Indeed, you could not have constructed better conditions for a controlled experiment. Yet, ironically, the medium-term investment stakes are now higher.
Looking backwards at this debacle, it's clear that Obama's economic team did not serve him well, either substantively or tactically. Summers as chair of the Fed was always going to be a lightning rod, because of his temperament, his sketchy record as president of Harvard, his close association with the deregulation that invited the financial collapse, and the high-profile consulting gigs on Wall Street that he took since leaving government in 2010. Tactically, what unfolded in August and September was bizarre. Instead of the administration vetting Summers for hidden confirmation problems, deciding that he was an acceptable risk, and Obama announcing the appointment, what we got was a slow drip of leaks that Summers was the president's first choice. But that only served to rally Summers' opposition. It would have been much more difficult for opposition within the Democratic Party to fester if Obama had simply announced his choice.
As I said all along, we have had two strong candidates. Let's hope the president now turns to Janet Yellen, who I believe would make an excellent Fed chairperson.