Ending months of speculation and consternation at a time of intense sensitivity for financial markets, President Barack Obama has decided to nominate Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke and become the first Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, according to unconfirmed reports from several major news organizations quoting White House officials.

The announcement, expected Wednesday afternoon, seems calculated to end at least one source of uncertainty on Wall Street at a time of turmoil caused by the budgetary brinkmanship in Washington.

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