Should the Senate decline to confirm Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke for a second term, here's a list of possible candidates to replace him:
Donald L. Kohn, Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
A member of the Board since 2002, Kohn is a Ph.D. economist and a veteran of the Federal Reserve System.
Before becoming a member of the Board, he served on its staff as Adviser to the Board for Monetary Policy (2001-02), Secretary of the Federal Open Market Committee (1987-2002), Director of the Division of Monetary Affairs (1987-2001), and Deputy Staff Director for Monetary and Financial Policy (1983-87). He also held several positions in the Board's Division of Research and Statistics: Associate Director (1981-83), Chief of Capital Markets (1978-81), and Economist (1975-78). Dr. Kohn began his career as a Financial Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (1970-75).
Dr. Kohn has written extensively on issues related to monetary policy and its implementation by the Federal Reserve. These works were published in volumes issued by various organizations, including the Federal Reserve System, the Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Brookings Institution.
Janet L. Yellen, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
President and CEO of the San Francisco Fed 2004, Yellen is a Ph.D. economist and member of the Fed's top policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee.
Dr. Yellen is professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley where she was the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics and has been a faculty member since 1980.
Dr. Yellen earlier took leave from Berkeley for five years starting August 1994 when she served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System through February 1997, and then left the Fed to become chair of the Council of Economic Advisers through August 1999. She also chaired the Economic Policy Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from 1997 to 1999.
Dr. Yellen is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She also serves on the board of directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and in the recent past, she served as president of the Western Economic Association, vice president of the American Economic Association and was a Fellow of the Yale Corporation.
Dr. Yellen graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics in 1967, and received her Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 1971. She received the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale in 1997, an honorary doctor of laws degree from Brown in 1998, and an honorary doctor of humane letters from Bard College in 2000.
An assistant professor at Harvard University from 1971 to 1976, Dr. Yellen served as an economist with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors in 1977 and 1978, and on the faculty of the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1978 to 1980.
Dr. Yellen has written on a wide variety of macroeconomic issues, while specializing in the causes, mechanisms and implications of unemployment.
Thomas M. Hoenig, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Hoenig has led the Kansas City Fed since 1991. A Ph.D. economist, Hoenig has been one of the most vocal opponents of "too big to fail," denouncing it in speeches and criticizing current efforts as largely anemic. Earlier this month he said of the megabanks: "Beginning to break them, to dismember them, is a fair thing to consider."
Dr. Hoenig joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1973 as an economist in the banking supervision area. He was named a vice president in 1981 and senior vice president in 1986.
He has served as an instructor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and lectured on the U.S. banking and regulatory system for the People's Bank of China. Dr. Hoenig is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and serves on the boards of directors of Midwest Research Institute and Union Station.
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and economics professor at Columbia University
Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, is the former head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and a former Chief Economist of the World Bank. He's currently a professor at Columbia University.
In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008 he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009. In 2009 he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009.
Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, "The Economics of Information," exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but of policy analysts. He has made major contributions to macro-economics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to the theories of industrial organization and rural organization, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of R&D.
His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well, and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.
Christina Romer, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers
One of President Barack Obama's top economic minds, the Ph.D. economist had been an economics professor for nearly 25 years. She had called for a $1 trillion stimulus package to help revive the economy.
She was co-director of the Program in Monetary Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research and served as Vice President of the American Economic Association, where she was also a member of the executive committee. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Romer is known for her research on the causes and recovery of the Great Depression, and on the role that fiscal and monetary policy played in the country's economic recovery. Her most recent work, authored with her husband David Romer, also an economics professor, shows the impact of tax policy on government and economic growth.
Her working papers include "A Narrative Analysis of Postwar Tax Changes," "Do Tax Cuts Starve the Beast? The Effect of Tax Changes on Government Spending," and "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks."