Obama to nominate new head of Federal Reserve

Janet Yellen will become the first woman to head the US central bank.

New Statesman
Janet Yellen. Credit: Getty Images.

The Barack Obama administration is set to nominate 67-year-old economist Janet Yellen as new head of US Federal Reserve.

Yellen, who will replace Ben Bernanke, will become the first woman to head the country’s central bank after the approval of her appointment by Senate. Earlier, she served as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors from 1997 to 1999.

In October 2010, Yellen was appointed as vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, which currently holds $3.7trn in assets.

Yellen’s appointment comes at a most crucial moment as the Fed revealed to inject $85bn (£52bn) per month into the US economy via QE programme. She studied at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.

Linda Yueh, chief business correspondent at the BBC, said that the transition from Bernanke to Yellen is likely to be seamless and will not have much impact.

Yellen is expected to win Senate confirmation as most of the politicians support her. Bernanke will step down from his role in early 2014.

Dan Fuss, a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles in Boston told Reuters: “Thank God Yellen will be nominated under the current circumstances. You don't want a change at the central bank right now. This Yellen news is one uncertainty lifted from already nervous markets.”