As expected, President Obama announced Wednesday that he would be nominating Fed vice chairwoman Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve. She would replace retiring chairman Ben Bernanke.
“For nearly 8 years, Ben has led the Fed through some of the most daunting economic challenges of our lifetime…Against the volatility of global markets, he’s been a voice of wisdom, and a steady hand. At the same time, when faced with global economic meltdown he has displayed tremendous courage and creativity. He took bold action that was needed to avert another depressions, helping us stop the freefall, stabilize financial markets, shore up our banks, and get credit flowing again. And all this has made a profound difference in the lives of millions of Americans,” said President Obama of outgoing head Ben Bernanke.
“A lot of people aren’t necessarily sure what the chairman of the Federal Reserve does, but thanks to this man, more families are able to afford their own home, more small businesses are able to get loans, more folks can pay their mortgages and their car loans. It’s meant more growth, and more jobs.”
Of Yellen, Obama had this to say:
“Janet is exceptionally qualified for this role. She’s served in leadership positions at the Fed for more than a decade. As vice chair for the past three years she’s been exemplary and a driving force of policies to help boost our economic recovery…she has a keen understanding of how markets and the economy work.”
Obama called the nomination one of the most important economic decisions he’ll make as President, as the head of the Fed is one of the most important policy-making positions in the world.
Before her appointment to the vice chair position, Yellen served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and before that the Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton.
“While I think we all agree, Mr. President, that more needs to be done to strengthen the recovery, particularly for those hardest hit by the Great Recession, we have made progress. The economy is stronger and the financial system sounder,” said Yellen.
The nomination comes at a time when the country is facing economic uncertainty as the government shutdown enters its second week and the countdown keeps ticking for Congress to act on the impending debt ceiling deadline.