Lawrence Summers, who was the first Jew to become president of Harvard University, will replace Ben Bernanke to head the Federal reserve, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported early Friday morning. It cited unnamed sources.
Bernanke’s term expires in January, and Summers was competing with Janet Yellen, currently the vice chairman of the Fed, for the post. Stanley Fischer, who recently quit in the middle of his second term as Governor of the Bank of Israel and returned to the United States, reportedly wanted the post. His age was one major factor that kept him from being a front runner.
Summers’ mother was of Romanian-Jewish ancestry, and his father, whose father’s name was Samuelson, was Jewish. Both parents were economist, and Summers Is the nephew of Paul Samuelson, known to thousands of university graduates for his textbooks on economics.
In 2002, Summers wrote of himself, “I am Jewish, identified but hardly devout.”