But Wall Street's concerns over Summers appeared to go beyond just the worry that he would not support Bernanke's policies. CNBC asked respondents to judge three candidates—Summers, Yellen and former Vice Chairman Donald Kohn—alongside Bernanke on 10 separate qualifications for the job.
Market participants gave Bernanke the highest overall score. Yellen came in a close second. But even Kohn beat Summers, who finished last among the four in the eyes of Wall Street.
Yellen had higher scores than Summers in eight of the 10 categories. Most strikingly, market participants gave Yellen much higher marks for monetary policy expertise than Summers. They also felt she had superior political and communications skills, a persistent knock on Summers.
Yellen, according to Wall Street participants, even beat out Summers on her ability to manage a financial crisis, the area that Obama apparently held out as one of Summers most important qualities.
Yellen was also seen having more respect from financial markets and banking regulatory expertise. Summers beat out Yellen in only two categories: concern about inflation and financial market expertise.
—By CNBC's Steve Liesman