In the midst of depressing addresses about the current government shutdown, President Barack Obama shared a glimmer of forward-thinking news yesterday. The President announced that he would nominate economist Janet Yellen, 67, to lead the Federal Reserve, a move that would see the central bank led by a woman for the first time ever, if she’s confirmed.
No woman has led the Fed in the century since it was established, or the Treasury Department in its 224-year history. If appointed, Yellen, who is currently vice chair of the Fed, would become one of the most powerful women in the country replacing outgoing Ben Bernanke as chair next February. And while Bernake steps down after an eight year stint that saw the worst financial crisis in decades, the POTUS is optimistic about his nominee’s ability to help turn things around.
“America’s workers and families will have a champion in Janet,” Obama said at a White House ceremony, attended by Yellen and Bernanke. “She is a proven leader, and she’s tough. Not just because she is from Brooklyn,” he continued. “She doesn’t have a crystal ball, but what she does have is a keen understanding of how the markets and the economy work, not just in theory but also in the real world.” The President has asked that the Senate confirm her quickly.
Yellen, who has years of experience in academia and the Central Bank, is expected to sustain the central bank’s easy money policies and efforts to curb joblessness. “More needs to be done to strengthen the recovery, particularly for those hardest hit by the Great Recession,” she said as she accepted Obama’s nomination. “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’ll pay their bills and provide for their families.”
No need to tell the American people that! Let’s just hope the appointment translates into more action and economic change. And now there’s a woman poised to head up the Central Bank, how about the first woman President in 2016 (Hillary, Michelle?)?
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