3 February 2014, 19:15

Janet Yellen sworn in as first woman Fed chair

Janet Yellen sworn in as first woman Fed chair

Janet Yellen was sworn in Monday to a term as chair of the US central bank, the Federal Reserve said in a statement. She succeeds Ben Bernanke to become the first woman to head the Fed. Her term as chair ends February 3, 2018.

The oath was administered by Governor Daniel Tarullo, the Fed said.

President Barack Obama's choice of Yellen put her in line to become the first female chief of the powerful US central bank in its 100-year history and just one of a handful of women heading central banks globally.

Yellen has been an unwavering advocate of the Fed's aggressive steps to boost the U.S. economy as it struggled to emerge from a severe economic recession.

In late 2008, the Fed cut overnight interest rates to near zero and has since conducted a series of massive bond purchase programs intended to keep long-term borrowing costs low.

The result has been a falling US jobless rate, which hit a five-year low in November of 7 percent as the pace of economic growth has also picked up.

Yellen's main task will be to navigate the central bank's way out of its extraordinary stimulus, dialing down its current bond-buying program. The US central bank trimmed that program to $75 billion per month, from $85 billion, at a much anticipated policy meeting last month.

During a mid-November Senate Banking Committee hearing on her nomination, Yellen defended the Fed's aggressive actions to foster economic growth and said, "I consider it imperative that we do what we can to promote a very strong recovery".

Some Republicans expressed concerns that the Fed may have gone too far. "I think the economy has gotten used to the sugar you've put out there and I just worry that we're on a sugar high," Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska said at the time.

Voice of Russia, Reuters

  •  
    and share via