Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from the contest to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, reports the Wall Street Journal. "I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation's ongoing economic recovery," he wrote in a letter to President Obama.
Obama has accepted his decision, describing the former Treasury secretary as "a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression." Despite mounting opposition from liberals and women's groups, Summers was generally considered Obama's top prospect. The most likely candidates for the job now look to be Fed vice chairwoman Janet Yellen, former vice chairman Donald Kohn, and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the Journal reports. (Read more Larry Summers stories.)