Janet Yellen as the Next Fed Chair: Today (Wednesday), U.S. President Barack Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as the head of the U.S. central bank.
If she clears a Senate nomination, Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve and arguably the most experienced Fed chair in decades, based on her extensive tenure at the central bank.
In fact, Yellen maintains far more experience at the Fed than Bernanke, Paul Volcker, or Alan Greenspan, the latter of whom had never worked at the central bank before his appointment. She led the San Francisco Fed from 2004 to 2010 before assuming her current position.
With the Federal Reserve now wading in uncharted waters, her experience will certainly be put to the test…
Yellen would oversee the difficult task of unwinding the extraordinary stimulus designed by the bank after the economic downturn in 2008. But she would also be assuming a leadership role at a time when the government is heavily divided and a number of crippling problems continue to plague the U.S. economy.
Here's what Yellen's nomination as the next Fed chair means…
Yellen as Next Fed Chair
For Democrats: Yellen was the consensus pick among liberal Democrats over the president's preference of Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary and chief economic adviser. Prior to the nomination, Yellen received widespread support among the liberal base in Congress. In July, 20 Democratic senators signed a letter to the president calling for her nomination. In the letter, they championed her "independence, intellectual rigor and willingness to challenge conventional wisdom regarding deregulation." Summers' appointment would have faced opposition from both parties given his history of questionable leadership and inability to foresee crisis. Democrats also have celebrated the idea of her being the first woman to lead the U.S. central bank as a selling point, although her experience is a far greater argument for her nomination.