Obama to Tap Yellen as Next Fed Chair

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 8 2013 7:37 PM

Obama to Tap Yellen as Next Fed Chair

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George A. Akerlof shares a moment with his wife Janet L. Yellen, after being awarded the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 2001.

Photo by MONICA M. DAVEY/AFP/Getty Images

The White House said on Tuesday that Janet Yellen will be nominated as the next head of the Federal Reserve. Yellen, who currently is the vice chair at the Fed, will succeed Ben Bernanke as the chairperson of the central bank. Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Fed and would take over when Bernanke’s term ends in January.

The announcement ends what the New York Times calls an “unusually public search” to fill the post after Obama’s first choice for the job, Lawrence Summers, dropped out of the running due to opposition from Democrats in the Senate. Here’s more on Yellen’s background from the Times:

Ms. Yellen, 67, who has been the Fed’s vice chairwoman since 2010, would be the first woman to run the central bank. A native of Brooklyn, she was previously president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, a White House adviser, a Fed governor during the Clinton administration and a longtime professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her four-year appointment as chairwoman must be confirmed by the Senate.
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Yellen will be charged with deciding how quickly to wind down Bernanke’s expansionary monetary policy. But, the Wall Street Journal reports, “her nomination would mean the Fed is unlikely to make any unusual lurches in its interest-rate decisions in the near-term.”

Obama is expected to officially announce the nomination on Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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