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The struggle to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve has turned into a soap opera. Bernanke, it is widely assumed, has told President Barack Obama that he doesn’t want a third four-year term — or has been informed that he won’t be reappointed. This has triggered a highly public campaign by partisans of the two leading contenders for the job: Lawrence Summers, ex-treasury secretary (in the Clinton years) and former Harvard president; and Janet Yellen, the Fed’s present vice chairman. Both are economists.

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