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Who should be the next Federal Reserve chair?

Who should be the next Federal Reserve chair?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to step down when his term expires at the end of January — if not sooner — and President Barack Obama is expected to nominate a successor this fall.

Right now, the front-runners appear to be former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, an economic adviser to the president during his first term; and Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, No. 2 at the Fed but without close ties to the president.

Some dark horses have emerged. Obama, for example, floated the name of Donald Kohn, Yellen's predecessor at the Fed before his retirement in 2010. And some economists are pushing Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance...