Bernanke Hill 17July2013
Ben Bernanke Reuters

President Barack Obama has narrowed the field to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to three candidates: Larry Summers, Janet Yellen and Donald Kohn, according to a report on Friday.

The New York Times, citing people close to the process, said the president had floated a trial balloon to former treasury secretary Timothy Geithner about his availability for the post, but he declined to be considered.

During a meeting this week at the White House, Obama defended Summers, who has a reputation for being brusque yet brilliant. Summers, who was the president's top economic adviser until late 2010, appears to be a strong contender to follow Bernanke, the Times said.