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Plosser Says Fed Chairman Selection an ‘Unfortunate’ Process

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said the selection of Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s successor has exposed the central bank to undue political pressure.

The process “was largely unnecessary and one which I think potentially is a disservice to the Fed as an institution,” Plosser said today in response to an audience question during a speech in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The public debate over the succession has been “way too political,” he said.

President Barack Obama has been weighing who to name to succeed Bernanke when his term ends in January, with an initial focus on his former adviser Lawrence Summers and Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen. Summers withdrew his name from consideration after drawing opposition from Democrats in Congress for his support of deregulation while serving as U.S. Treasury secretary.

“We should try our best to depersonalize it if we can,” Plosser said, referring to the nomination of a new central bank chief. The process “has been an unfortunate one at best.”

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