Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, is under consideration to become the first woman to lead the Fed. President Obama reportedly is likely to choose between Yellen and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. Franck Robichon/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a news conference in June. Financial markets reacted to comments he made then by selling off bonds and stocks. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talks to educators Aug. 7 in Washington, D.C. At their most recent meeting, many Fed members backed action to boost the economy. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP