Long before President Obama won the November election, there was widespread belief that one of his top economic advisers, Lawrence Summers, now the director of the White House's National Economic Council, was gunning to succeed Ben Bernanke as the Federal Reserve Board's chairman when his term expires in January.So last week, when the administration proposed a regulatory reform plan — largely written by Summers — that called for increasing the Fed's power, it did not take observers long to connect the dots and start asking questions.

"The Fed was the clear winner in this," Sen. Bob Corker told Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

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