News / USA

Yellen Appointment to Head US Central Bank Wins Overseas Praise

FILE - Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
FILE - Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
VOA News
The appointment of Janet Yellen to head the powerful U.S. central bank is winning praise on the international front.

U.S. President Barack Obama is set Wednesday to name the 67-year-old Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve after her three-year stint as vice chair.

She would become the first woman to lead the central bank, which often sets the path for international monetary policies and helps shape economies throughout the world. She has been a staunch supporter of policies adopted by retiring Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to keep interest rates low and pump money into the U.S. economy to help it recover from its worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Financial counselor Jose Vinals at the International Monetary Fund said that based on Yellen's academic credentials and background, he could not "think of anybody who is better prepared" to lead the bank.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said that Yellen, along with Bernanke, successfully led world economies out of the recession sparked by the 2008 collapse of the U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

"Our thinking is that she is on an everyday basis a very talented individual," said Suga.

One analyst in the U.S., Cornelius Hurley of the Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy, told VOA he expects Yellen to win easy confirmation in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate. But he said that Republican opponents of Obama and Federal Reserve policies are likely to question her sharply about the Fed's extensive intervention in the American economy in the last few years.

Hurley said it was a milestone that a woman would head the central bank, but more important that she is unlikely to advocate any sharp shift in policies as the U.S. economy slowly gains strength.

"I think there will be a smooth transition. Obviously, she's been vice chairman since 2010 and she's worked very closely with Chairman Bernanke," said Hurley.

But Hurley said that other new officials are joining the 12-member Fed group that sets monetary policy for the U.S. in the coming weeks and could be less inclined to support continued measures to boost the U.S. economy, the world's largest.

"She's going to face a decidedly more hawkish FOMC, the 12-member FOMC, that's the Federal Open Markets Committee, than Chairman Bernanke has right now," he said.

The U.S. government is in the midst of a nine-day partial shutdown and facing a contentious debate on raising its current $16.7 trillion borrowing limit before October 17 so it does not default on its financial obligations. As a result, Hurley said much could change before Yellen could become head of the Fed on February 1 next year.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would serve a four-year term.

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs