Federal Reserve

Yellen Sworn in as Bernanke Ends Term With Fed Taper

By on 2.4.14 | 11:08AM

Janet Yellen was sworn in yesterday as the fifteenth chair and first woman to head the Federal Reserve. She replaced Ben Bernanke, who presided over his final session during last week’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Fed announced after that meeting that it would once again taper its monthly asset purchases. Yellen’s installation and the continuation of tapering indicate that Bernanke’s retirement is not the end of an era or an unprecedented turn, but rather business as usual at the central bank.

At the Fed’s January 28-29 meeting, the FOMC announced that it will reduce the scale of quantitative easing. The reduction in asset purchases is $10 billion, bringing the monthly total down from $75 billion to $65 billion. The last reduction was announced during the Fed’s December meeting in 2013, and markets reacted positively. This announcement, however, came on the heels of a bad week for equity markets.

The Fed’s Taperwork

By on 12.18.13 | 4:58PM

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced today that they would begin a taper of monthly bond purchases made as part of quantitative easing policy. The taper, or reduction, is slight—a decrease in monthly asset purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion, or a little more than 10 percent, which would begin in January.

While some analysts did not expect the Federal Reserve to taper any time in the near future,  there were hints in Janet Yellen’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee last month that the Fed was pleased with progress they perceived in the economic indicators they used to determine whether to scale back on asset purchases. Recent jobs numbers were probably one of the major indicators the Fed relied upon in their decision.

Yellen Dovish on Inflation, Blasts Income Inequality

By on 11.14.13 | 4:01PM

The president’s nominee to head the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, faced a fairly placid reception at the Senate Banking Committee today. Lawmakers had plenty of questions, but most of them seemed unlikely to oppose her confirmation.

Yellen acknowledged numerous times over the course of the hearing that she sees a continuation of QE3 as viable, confirming the suspicion that she would remain “dovish” on inflation.

The Senate Spectator

Questions for Janet Yellin

By and 10.31.13

Chairman of the Federal Reserve is arguably the most important unelected office in America. It wields enormous influence over the financial health of the nation, and indeed the world. So it is incumbent upon members of the Senate Banking Committee, which could hold confirmation hearings before the end of November, to ask the right questions of the President’s Fed nominee, Janet Yellen. Professor Yellen is clearly qualified, having held the number two position at the Fed under current chairman Ben Bernanke, and has previously chaired the San Francisco Federal Reserve. What is in question is the direction she will take monetary policy during the next four years.