President Obama on Wednesday announced what he called perhaps his most important economic decision, nominating Janet L. Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve system and be his independent co-steward of the economy, calling her “one of the nation’s foremost economists and policy makers.”
Ms. Yellen, 67, would be elevated from the Fed’s vice chairwoman to become the first woman to lead the 100-year-old central bank. The Senate is generally expected to confirm her nomination for the four-year term.
For the announcement, she joined Mr. Obama in the State Dining Room of the White House, along with the retiring chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, whom the president hailed for helping guide the economy through the worst financial crisis since the Depression.
The president said Ms. Yellen was “renowned for her good judgment,” and he credited her with sounding early alarms about the financial and housing bubbles that caused the economy’s near-collapse in 2008.
“Given the urgent economic challenges facing our nation, I urge the Senate to confirm Janet without delay,” Mr. Obama said. “I’m absolutely confident that she will be an exceptional chair of the Federal Reserve.”
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FRB: Press Release–Statement by Federal Reserve Board Vice Chair Yellen on her nomination by President Obama–October 9, 2013
Thank you, Mr. President, I am honored and humbled by the faith you have placed in me. If confirmed by the Senate, I pledge to do my utmost to keep that trust and meet the great responsibilities that Congress has entrusted to the Federal Reserve–to promote maximum employment, stable prices, and a strong and stable financial system.
I\’d also like to thank my spouse, George, and my son, Robert. I couldn\’t imagine taking on this new challenge without their love and support.
The past six years have been tumultuous for the economy and challenging for many Americans. While I think we all agree, Mr. President, that more needs to be done to strengthen this recovery, particularly for those hardest hit by the Great Recession, we have made progress. The economy is stronger and the financial system sounder. As you said, Mr. President, considerable credit for that goes to Chairman Bernanke for his wise, courageous, and skillful leadership. It has been my privilege to serve with him and learn from him.
While we have made progress, we have farther to go. 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. 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.
The Fed has powerful tools to influence the economy and the financial system, but I believe its greatest strength rests in its capacity to approach important decisions with expertise and objectivity, to vigorously debate diverse views, and then to unite behind its response. The Fed\’s effectiveness depends on the commitment, ingenuity, and integrity of the Fed staff and my fellow policymakers. They serve America with great dedication.
Mr. President, thank you for giving me this opportunity to continue serving the Federal Reserve and carrying out its important work on behalf of the American people.
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The Federal Reserve’s aggressive easing of monetary policy is warranted given the still-battered state of the U.S. labor market, Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Monday. In an address to the politically influential AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor group, Yellen, a potential successor to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke next year, bemoaned the unusually weak … Continue reading »
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen backed a proposal to link the Fed’s zero interest-rate policy to progress toward meeting its goals for inflation and employment rather than to a calendar date. “The Committee might eliminate the calendar date entirely and replace it with guidance on the economic conditions that would need to prevail before … Continue reading »