Janet Yellen Confirmed As New Fed Chief

    09 January, 2014


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

    The face of America's central bank has changed. The Senate has confirmed Janet Yellen to lead the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System. She will be the first woman to lead the nation's central bank in its 100-year history.

    Ms Yellen will replace Ben Bernanke. Mr Bernanke is widely phrased for his decisions that strengthen the economy during the worldwide financial crisis. He served two 4-year terms as the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    Janet Yellen Confirmed As New Fed Chief
    Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill, Washington, Nov. 14, 2013.

    President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen in October. He said then she would be a fierce champion for the American people. The president also said that Janet Yellen understands that the goal of financial policy is to improve the lives and jobs of workers and their families.

    Ms Yellen severed as vice chair of the Federal Reserve during Ben Bernanke's second term. Economists are predicting that as chairwoman, Janet Yellen will continue many of Ben Bernanke's policies. Both she and Mr Bernanke have called for a measured reduction in the Federal Reserve's efforts to keep interest rates low. The central bank has bought 85 billion dollars in securities to push money into the economy.

    During confirmation hearings, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown phrased Ms Yellen's ability to identify problems in the financial system.

    "In today's complex financial system, it's more important than ever that we have strong regulators like Governor Yellen, who can recognize emerging threats to economic stability, and who isn't afraid to act when they find abuses that put American consumers and workers at risk," said Brown.

    But some Senators have criticized Ms Yellen's support of programs to increase money in the economy. Critics say, these programs cause inflation. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said so called "easy money" policies are bad for the country.

    "We need a chairman focused on a strong dollar and low inflation. Historical evidence suggests that failing to rein in ‘easy money' policies risks fueling an economic bubble and even hyper-inflation," said Grassley.

    Ms Yellen has repeatedly expressed concern over labor issues, including unemployment. The rate of unemployment has fallen only to 7 percent since the end of the recession, that is well above historical averages.

    Economists are predicting that Janet Yellen will continue many of the policies begun by Ben Bernanke. Those policies including keep the central bank's short term interest rates close to zero.

    And that is the Learning English Economics Report. Read and download more of our programs at our website, 51voa.com. I'm Mario Ritter.