US President Barack Obama said Friday that the two leading candidates to head the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen and Larry Summers, are both fully qualified for the job.
Acknowledging that the two economists are among his candidates to succeed current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in January, Obama said both were suitable to take on the central bank's mission to control inflation and boost employment.
"The Federal Reserve chairman is not just one of the most important economic policymakers in America, he or she is one of the most important policymakers in the world," Obama told reporters.
Obama stressed his responsibility "to make sure the economy is growing quickly and robustly and is sustained and durable so that people who work hard in this country are able to find a job.""My main criteria for the Federal Reserve chairman is somebody who understands they've got a dual mandate," he said in a press conference at the White House.
"A critical part of the job is making sure that we keep inflation in check, that our monetary policy is sound, that the dollar is sound."
"But the other mandate is full employment.... The challenge is we've still got too many people out of work, too many long-term unemployed, too much slack in the economy, and we're not growing as fast as we should."
"So I want a Fed chairman who's able to look at those issues and have a perspective that keeps an eye on inflation."
"Frankly, I think both Larry Summers and Janet Yellen are highly qualified candidates."
Obama, who is expected to nominate Bernanke's successor as soon as September, said he had "a range of outstanding candidates" for the job.