Obama Signals Change by Appointing Janet Yellen to Run the Federal Reserve

Rethinking Macro Policy II: First Steps and Ea...

Rethinking Macro Policy II: First Steps and Early Lessons (Photo credit: International Monetary Fund)

President Barack Obama just announced that he is nominating Janet Yellen to run the Federal Reserve. The announcement heralded one of the most significant decisions in his presidency. Yellen is currently the Vice Chairwoman of the Fed, so her succession would be a natural progression. The White House struggled with the selection, and the joint press conference with Obama and Yellen capped off a contentious deliberation. Ultimately, the new nominee’s reign could signal a series of unexpected changes.

Not the First Choice

Previously, Obama has demonstrated a tendency to be extremely loyal to his inside circle. This practice of favoritism was intended to extend to the Federal Reserve. The president’s primary candidate was Lawrence Summers, who has been a close political ally. Unfortunately, members of Obama’s Democratic Party derailed Summers’ chances by demanding a liberal nominee. After being undermined by his own establishment, Obama had no choice but to pick a Democrat.

Likelihood of Confirmation

The Senate chamber has a Democratic majority, and this coalition has vocalized widespread support for Yellen. Although her initial selection required a little extra luck and patience, she appears to be on the fasttrack to confirmation. Republicans have voiced concerns about her economic philosophy, but they will be powerless to obstruct her path to leadership.

First Chairwoman

The announcement was immediately considered to be a major symbolic victory for womens’ rights across the country. Yellen will be the first woman to operate this crucial organization. This is another convenient boost for Obama’s progressive agenda, especially since his second term cabinet has been unusually lacking in female members.

First Democrat in Decades

For some incongruous reason, the last two Democratic Commanders in Chief both nominated Republicans to head the Fed. Obama reinstated Ben Bernanke, and Bill Clinton appointed Alan Greenspan before him. By finally choosing a Democrat, Obama can help his party reclaim governmental economics. As a result, Yellen will be expected to switch ideological course on a variety of monetary issues. Still, liberals hoping for a grand overhaul will be sorely disappointed.

Financial Consequences

Because she spent her tenure serving under Ben Bernanke, the transition of leadership is expected to be conducted in a seamless fashion. This means that there will not be instantaneous transformations; instead, Yellen is expected to subtly shift the direction of countless economic debates. It will be done is a slow moving manner that remains undetected by the general public. Under the radar, she is expected to facilitate mild increases in inflation to effectively combat unemployment. She also appears more inclined to regulate big banking industries. At least from the start, Yellen will only be making minor adjustments.

Pristine Qualifications

This pragmatic economist has earned doctoral honors from Yale, and she was a professor at Harvard. She had successful experiences operating the Fed in California, and her tenure witnessed a substantial economic turnaround for the region. Now, she has navigated a tenuous stimulus recovery for the entire nation. She will only expand these efforts when she ascends to the top.

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