The current Fed Chairman is Ben Bernanke who was appointed by George W. Bush and re-appointed by Barack Obama. His term ends in January and there is the (now) usual Senate confirmation minefield to get through.
Keep in mind Summers was never nominated but he withdrew his name for consideration because the confirmation process was likely to be "acrimonious."
Part of the "acrimony" is being caused the next most mentioned name to be the next Fed Chairman is Janet Yellen, currently Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve.
Dr. Yellen got her Ph.D. in economics from Yale (not Harvard). Prior to her current position she was, a member of the Fed Board, the Chair of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors, and was the President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank - thus she has experience at both the regional bank and the Federal Reserve Board levels as well as the rough and tumble of the White House.
I have no idea whether Dr. Yellen would be a good choice or a bad choice; but neither did I know (and I still don't know) whether Bernanke was a good choice or a bad choice.
Everything I know about economics I get from watching Squawkbox on CNBC in the morning.
Or by talking to Tony Fratto.
The proximate cause for Larry Summers' having withdrawn his name is three Democrats - Democrats - on the Senate Banking Committee indicated over the weekend that they would have a tough time voting to take his name to the Senate floor.
That would have meant that the White House would have had to lobby Republicans on the committee to vote for Summers and, as you may have heard over the past few weeks, the President is running a little short of political capital right now.
As I Tweeted last night: The toughest thing about the Summers withdrawal letter was having a WH staffer find him, stick it under his nose, and say "sign here."
Autumn doesn't official begin until September 21, but yesterday was Summers' end.