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Obama: Next Fed Chief Should Consider Average Joes

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says his next Fed chairman should take ordinary people into account when setting monetary policy.

Obama tells The New York Times in an interview on the paper's website Saturday that he wants someone who won't just work abstractly to keep inflation in check and maintain stability in the markets. He says he wants the next Fed chairman to also promote policies that will help make ordinary people's lives better.

"The idea is to promote those things in service of the lives of ordinary Americans getting better," The Times quoted Obama as saying. "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 president began a series of speeches this week promoting ideas for easing the burdens on the middle class.

Obama is considering replacements for Ben Bernanke, whose term as Fed chairman expires early next year. The president said he had reduced the field to "some extraordinary candidates," The Times said.

Former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers and Janet Yellen, the Fed's current vice chair, are among the leading candidates for the job.

A senior White House official told The Associated Press on Friday that Obama was not expected to announce a replacement for Bernanke before the fall. The official was not authorized to speak by name about internal White House deliberations over personnel decisions.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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