Ben Barnanke, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Donald L. Kohn, a member of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, are the best candidates to succeed retiring Fed chairman Alan Greenspan according to a survey of economists conducted by the Wall Street Journal.

According to the poll, Bernanke and Kohn were judged the best out of eight potential replacements for Greenspan.

Bernanke was cited for his background as an academic economist. He also served a chairman of Princeton University's economics department. Meanwhile, Kohn, has been a member of the Fed's board for 30 years.

Following Bernanke and Kohn in the poll ranking were Martin Feldstein, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Roger Ferguson, current vice chairman of the Fed Board of Governors.

Greenspan is slated to step down in late January.

Although the president has not revealed his list of potential replacements, in a recent interview he said that the new Fed chairman must be "independent of politics."

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