News / Economy

Yellen a Step Closer to Becoming US Central Bank Chief

Janet Yellen, of California, President Barack Obama's nominee to become Federal Reserve Board chair, is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2013.
Janet Yellen, of California, President Barack Obama's nominee to become Federal Reserve Board chair, is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Economist Janet Yellen has moved a step closer to becoming the first woman to head the powerful U.S. central bank.

A Senate panel Thursday approved her nomination to become chair of the Federal Reserve when the current chairman, Ben Bernanke, leaves office at the end of January. The Senate Banking Committee voted 14-8 in her favor, with 11 Democrats supporting her as well as three Republicans.

President Barack Obama's nomination of the 67-year-old Yellen now will be considered by the full 100-member Senate, where analysts expect she will win approval in the coming weeks.

Yellen told the Senate panel last week that she favors the central bank's continued direct support of the American economy as it slowly, but steadily, recovers from the country's worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

"I believe that supporting the recovery today is the surest path to returning to a more normal approach to monetary policy," Yellen said.

The Fed has been buying $85 billion worth of securities a month for more than a year in an effort to pump more money into the economy, keep interest rates low and boost job growth. But some Republican critics of the central bank say the massive support of the economy could lead to rapid inflation if it is not ended soon.

Yellen, now the Fed's vice chair, gave no indication at her nomination hearing when the central bank might begin to trim back its economic stimulus measures. Fed officials are signaling that they intend to trim and eventually end the bond-buying program "in coming months," according to minutes of the policy makers' most recent meeting in late October that were released this week.

But that depends on how quickly the world's largest economy improves.

With increasing corporate profits and continued Fed support of the U.S. economy, stock indexes in the U.S. have risen in recent days to record heights. But unemployment remains high, pegged at 7.3 percent in October, well above the historical level in the U.S. of between 5 and 6 percent.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.