News / USA

Supporters Stress Yellen's Qualifications for Fed Chief's Job

FILE - Janet Yellen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2013.
FILE - Janet Yellen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2013.
Michael Bowman
The United States will have its first-ever female central bank chief, after the Senate voted 56-26 to confirm Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.  Yellen succeeds Ben Bernanke, who helped America weather a severe financial crisis and the deepest economic recession since the 1930s.

Yellen’s ascension from vice chairwoman to chairwoman of the Federal Reserve is historic, but her Senate backers did not trumpet her gender ahead of Monday’s vote. Rather, they stressed her qualifications and the mindset she will bring to the job.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said Yellen will work to protect ordinary Americans from the excesses of a free-wheeling financial system.

“In today’s complex financial system, it is more important than ever to have strong regulators like Governor Yellen who can recognize emerging threats to economic stability, and who is not afraid to act when abuses are found that put American consumers and workers at risk,” he said.

Who is Janet Yellen? 
  • Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 2010

  • Served as President and CEO of the 12th District Federal Reserve Bank, San Francisco

  • Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley

  • Member of Council on Foreign Relations and American Academy of Arts and Sciences

  • Received Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 1971
​Yellen takes the helm as the central bank is beginning to pull back from a multi-year program of extraordinary stimulus to jump-start the U.S. economy following the recession of 2008. At her confirmation hearing last year, Yellen defended the program as necessary and beneficial. Senate critics say she's a proponent of “easy money" policies that will rekindle inflation and eat away at Americans’ purchasing power.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley had this to say before casting a “no” vote.

“We need a chairman focused on a strong dollar and low inflation. Historical evidence suggests that failing to rein in ‘easy money’ policies risks fueling an economic bubble and even hyper-inflation,” he said.

James Glassman, chief economist at banking giant JPMorgan Chase, says Yellen will bring continuity to the Federal Reserve.

​“I think the way Janet Yellen handles policy at the Fed will be very similar to what Ben Bernanke did," he said. "And it is all going to be guided by how well the economy performs, how quickly the labor market improves, and how successful the Fed is in getting inflation back up to that two-percent level that everyone embraces.”

Glassman predicts Yellen will continue Bernanke’s efforts to make the Federal Reserve more transparent and less mystifying to the American public.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs