President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve yesterday. If she is approved by the Senate, Yellen will be the first woman to head the United States’ central bank in its 100-year history. She will also be the first Democrat to be the chair of the Federal Reserve since Paul A. Volcker stepped down in 1987.
Yellen, 67, is the current vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, and she has a long history of experience with central banking. She has taught at Harvard University and the London School of Economics, and she has held several senior administrative positions in the US. She will replace Ben Bernanke, who has lead the Fed since 2006 and will step down in January.
In a press conference, Yellen signaled that if confirmed, she would focus on strengthening the economy, by focusing on jobs and controlling inflation. “The mandate of the Federal Reserve is to serve all the American people, and too many Americans still can’t find a job and worry how they will pay their bills and provide for their families,” Yellen stated. “The Federal Reserve can help, if it does its job effectively. We can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to work hard and build a better life. We can ensure that inflation remains in check and doesn’t undermine the benefits of a growing economy. We can and must safeguard the financial system.”
Praising her nomination, Senator Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Chair of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, said, “Today is a historic moment for the Federal Reserve, for women everywhere and for all of us who care about job creation.” He continued, “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. In the midst of a fragile economic recovery, it will be more important than ever to have a steady hand and consensus builder at the helm of the Fed.”
Media Resources: BBC News 10/9/13; The Washington Post 10/8/13; ThinkProgress 10/9/13; NBC News 10/8/13; Federal Reserve Press Release 10/9/13; Senator Brown Press Release 10/8/13