Yellen sworn in as Fed chair

by Ryan Smith04 Feb 2014
Janet Yellen was sworn in Monday as the chair of the Federal Reserve. She is the first woman to head the agency.

Yellen succeeds outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is joining the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Yellen will be the first Democrat to chair the Fed since Carter nominee Paul Volcker left the position in 1987. She was confirmed Jan. 6 in the face of strong conservative opposition, with the conservative Heritage Foundation publicly opposing her confirmation in December.

Yellen is widely expected to continue Bernanke’s easy-money policies against the wishes of many in the GOP, who are frustrated with the Fed’s “quantitative easing” stimulus project, under which the agency purchased $85bn in bonds every month for more than a year. The Fed announced in December that it would begin scaling the program back as economic data allows. The Fed has already reduced its monthly bond purchases by $20bn.

The program has been a boon to the mortgage industry, which saw rates fall to near-historic lows as a result of QE.

Industry players have generally supported Yellen’s confirmation.


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