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Politics & Business | A Woman Takes the Federal Reserve Throne


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Today, President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen to lead the United States central bank. Yellen will become the first woman ever to hold this position and will be in charge of combating unemployment and curtailing inflation. As Fed chairman, Yellen would have vast power over the economy, and her record suggest that she would use it to continue for as long as possible a Fed stimulus program aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.

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[Photo Credit | Unknown Source]

Yellen, a 67-year-old Brown and Yale graduate and who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration would become the first Democrat to lead the Fed since Paul A. Volcker stepped down in 1987. This comes after Harvard professor and former Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers withdrew his name from consideration last month after a vociferous reaction by liberal Democrats, who disliked his record on financial regulation and what they viewed as an uncivil style.

Since the 1990s, Yellen has alternated among jobs at the Fed, the White House and her academic home, the University of California at Berkeley. She was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010, when she warned about looming dangers in the real estate market and was a participant in the Fed’s crisis response. Quoted from the Washington Post, banking committee member Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said “Today is a historic moment for the Federal Reserve, for women everywhere and for all of us who care about job creation.”

Current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and has resisted officially announcing his departure until a successor was named, will have served eight consequential years. He presided over an unprecedented rescue of the financial system in 2008 and similarly unprecedented steps to try to get the economy growing faster in the years since then.

Fed Holds Open Meeting On Rules For Capital Requreiments

[Photo Credit | Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Today, those efforts continue — with a commitment to keep short-term interest rates near zero for several more years, as well as an $85 billion per-month program of bond purchases known as quantitative easing (QE), which seek to drive down interest rates on mortgages and other loans even further. But with unemployment rate at 7.3 percent, some Fed officials, as well as outside economists, say it soon will be time for the central bank to begin winding down its extraordinary stimulus. That’s likely to happen later this year or early next when the Fed scales back its bond-buying program. Personally, I think Janet Yellen is a great pick to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve for 3 reasons:

  1. Most importantly, Governor Yellen will work to prevent future bailouts, boost our housing markets and give the Fed’s mandate to maximize employment the attention it deserves.
  2. She has credibility with positions ranging from the White House to running the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, not to mentioned her continuous effort to push for more transparency through clearer communications of the Fed’s intentions and thinking.
  3. I think it is time for a woman to filled the shoes of one of the most powerful and influential positions in the modern world, and who better than someone that knows the game as well as Yellen does.

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Obama will announce Yellen’s nomination in the East Room at the White House this afternoon. Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will join the two.

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