Sanders to Obama: New Fed chairman must put jobs ahead of Wall Street

Liberals have been pushing Obama to select Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen for the job. She would be the first woman named head of the Federal Reserve. 

Her primary competition appears to be Larry Summers, a former economic adviser to Obama who is seen as close to the president. Many liberals are suspicious of Summers's policies because of his work in the Clinton administration under former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

The White House has said it will not make a decision until the fall. 

Sanders said the new chairman — who will be needed at the start of next year when Ben Bernanke steps down — should make jobs his or her top priority.

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Sanders said it was “time for new leadership” at the Federal Reserve. He criticized the agency for supporting “too big to fail” banks while letting the unemployment and under employment numbers reach 14 percent.

“When Wall Street was on the verge of collapse, the Federal Reserve acted boldly, aggressively, and with a fierce sense of urgency to save the financial system,” Sanders wrote. “We need a new Fed chair who will act with the same sense of urgency to combat the unemployment crisis in America today that has left 22 million Americans without a full time job.”

Sanders said the new Fed chairman should have three priorities: jobs, breaking up “too big to fail” banks, and stopping banks from charging “usurious” credit card interest rates.

“We must never forget that the 2008 financial crisis was a direct result of the deregulation of Wall Street,” the letter stated. “Millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, life savings and ability to send their kids to college as a direct result of these policies.”

Sanders said it would be a “tragic mistake” to nominate anyone who would continue those “failed policies” that lead to the economic crisis.