U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has told close friends he probably will not stand for a third term at the central bank even if President Barack Obama wins the November 6 election, the New York Times reported.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has already said he would not re-nominate Bernanke if he wins the presidency. Bernanke's term as chairman ends in January 2014.
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The Fed's unconventional efforts to spur growth have been criticized by many who argue that they threaten future inflation and abet profligate spending in Washington.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has already made it clear he wants to leave by the end of the year.
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers would be at the top of Obama's list to replace Bernanke if he did not offer for re-nomination, columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote.
Longer shots include Janet Yellen, the vice chairwoman at the Fed, and economist Alan Krueger, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy -- or even Geithner, Sorkin wrote in his "Dealbook" column.
Glenn Hubbard, who headed the President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, is often mentioned as Romney's most likely nominee for the Fed job.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr)