Bernanke to Step Down: Report Fed chair won't return for another term, even if President Obama is reelected By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Oct 23, 2012 7:00 AM CDT 15 comments Comments In this Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (Newser) – Ben Bernanke doesn't intend to return for another stint atop the Federal Reserve after his term expires in January 2014, close friends of the chairman tell Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times. Mitt Romney has already said he would appoint someone else if he gets the chance, but Bernanke will apparently step down even if Obama wins. Sorkin points out that Obama will also have to replace Tim Geithner, and will have similar candidates for both jobs. Sorkin thinks Larry Summers has the inside track on the Fed job should Obama be reelected. Should Romney win, markets will likely react as though Bernanke had already left office, a separate Times piece points out, even though Romney can't remove him before his 2014 exit date. "I certainly would expect the markets to respond, that they will take this as the Fed being more hawkish and that will be reflected in rates," one economist says. Click for Sorkin's take on likely successors to both Bernanke and Geithner.