Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Fed Chief Janet Yellen - Of Brooklyn (Not the Manor) Born and Ready for Business (and Employment Growth)

Now that Janet Yellen is in line for selection as the next Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, with Larry Summers seemingly off-stage in the shadows, it is interesting to first note, as reported by the Office of Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, that she is, first and foremost, a Brooklyn native: Councilman Gentile: “I commend President Obama on his selection of Dr. Janet Yellen to be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history,” Councilman Vincent J. Gentile said. “She has played a major role in the Fed's efforts to keep interest rates near record lows to support the economy and will take over at a pivotal time for our country. And of course, most importantly, she is from Bay Ridge and a fellow Fort Hamilton High School alum – so we know she'll do a great job! We wish you the best of luck, Dr. Yellen, as you lead the American central bank and work to lift economic growth. Congratulations!” Of equal and further note to her NYC-borouvian pedigree, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph observed about Ms. Yellen: "No Fed chief in history has been better qualified. She is a glaring contrast to Alan Greenspan, a political speech writer for Richard Nixon, who never earned a real PhD (it was honorary) or penned an economic paper of depth. "She has pedigree. Her husband is Nobel laureate George Akerlof, the scourge of efficient markets theory. She co-authored "Market for Lemons", the paper that won the prize. "Currently vice-chairman of the Fed, she was a junior governor from 1994 to 1997 under Greenspan, and then president of the San Francisco Fed from 2004 to 2010. She was head of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999, when she handled the Asian crisis. You could hardly find a safer pair of hands. "Note that she confronted Greenspan head-on in 1996, pushing for pre-emptive rate rises to choke inflation and wean the economy of cheap credit. She was entirely right to do so. That was the moment when the Fed began to make a series of fatal errors, becoming addicted to ever lower real interest rates. Nobody called her a dove then. "She was on the other side a decade later during those crucial months before the subprime housing crash, quick to sense the danger of a chain reaction through the shadow banking system. Ben Bernanke and the FOMC majority scoffed at worries that the subprime debacle was the tip of an iceberg." ..."The Fed will be looser for longer. The FOMC will continue to print money until the US economy creates enough jobs to reignite wage pressures and inflation, regardless of asset bubbles, or collateral damage along the way." Read Evan-Pritchard's comments in full here And as Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman observed, it would be spite not to appoint Janet Yellen. "First, he says President Obama must now pick Janet Yellen — in his opinion, she is simply the best candidate: "... it’s really, really hard to see how Obama can justify not picking Janet Yellen at this point. Nobody else is as qualified; any other choice would look like spite." Here Read more:

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