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Speculation Over Greenspan's Replacement Heats Up

Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Martin Feldstein and R. Glenn Hubbard are being mentioned as possible successors to Alan Greenspan.

Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Martin Feldstein and R. Glenn Hubbard are being mentioned as possible successors to Alan Greenspan. The talk is heating up now with the presidential election a week away and Greenspan's 14-year term as Federal Reserve governor ending in 2006. The Fed chairmanship has strong political connotations because the chairman is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Former Treasury Secretary Rubin commonly crops up on Wall Street as a possible candidate if Sen. John Kerry becomes president, but speculators are quick to point out they doubt he would accept the job. "The name is mentioned because he is the powerhouse financier for the Democrats and he's got great name recognition," said Drew Matus, senior economist at Lehman Brothers. Rubin worked at Goldman Sachs from 1966 to 1992 before taking the top Treasury post under President Bill Clinton.

However, Matus said he does not think Rubin, who could not be reached by press time, would want to return to Washington. He is currently director and chairman of the executive committee on the board at Citigroup.

Summers, president of Harvard University and also a former Treasury Secretary, is more likely for Kerry. Maury Harris, chief U.S. economist at UBS, said, "Summers would be proactive regarding monetary policy and raising or lowering rates; he comes from the economic school of thought that argues that you should have a counter cyclical monetary policy that anticipates problems." Calls to Summers were directed to Lucie McNeil, spokeswoman. "He's very happy at Harvard," she said, declining further comment.

Feldstein, economics professor at Harvard, and Hubbard, dean of the business school at Columbia University, are tipped as possibilities if President George W. Bush is re-elected. Feldstein did not return calls or an e-mail by press time, while calls to Hubbard were were not returned by press time.

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