Yellen closing in on biggest job in world economy


Janet Yellen was nominated today by President Barack Obama to head the US Federal Reserve.

If her selection is approved by the Senate, Mrs Yellen, who is Jewish, will become the first woman to head the central bank in its 100-year history.

Mrs Yellen is married to George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor emeritus at the University of California.

She is set to take over from the current Federal Reserve head, Ben Bernanke, who is also Jewish. Mr Bernanke will step down early next year.

It is predicated that her nomination will be confirmed by a large margin. Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democratic member of the Senate finance committee, called her "an excellent choice".

The nomination ends a long public debate about Mr Obama’s choice for the new chair. Mrs Yellen has been front runner for the appointment; however she faced stiff competition from former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, who has received support from Mr Obama’s administration.

The appointment comes as Fed pump £52bn a month into the US economy in an economic stimulus programme known as quantitative easing (QE).

The 67-year-old Brooklyn native is considered an employment market expert and has been a staunch ally of Mr Bernanke as he has attempted to use low interest rates and the QE programme to revive the US jobs market.

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