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Alternative Market Briefing

Janet Yellen confirmed as new Fed chief

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

After yet another will they/won't they battle in the Senate, Janet Yellen was confirmed to take over the Federal Reserve from departing chief Ben Bernanke. Bernanke is slated to move out of his role by January 31, 2014. He began transitioning last month in anticipation of today's confirmation vote. The vote itself managed to go forward despite rumblings from some Republican Senators who suggested they would vote no.

Now that Ms. Yellen has been confirmed she'll be tasked with overseeing the first phase of Fed tapering, and likely continued efforts to wind down the Fed's asset purchasing program over the next year. Any efforts will have to be done cautiously in order to avoid damaging the nascent housing recovery and shaky US economy. The move to put Yellen in the seat has been seen by some as a tacit continuation of the accommodative stance the Fed is taking in an effort to get the economy back on its feet.

From day one, Ms. Yellen's tenure at the Federal Reserve will be an historic one. She is the first female appointed to the post in the 100-year history of the Fed. The final vote tally was 56-26, with 11 Republicans breaking rank to vote for Ms. Yellen.

In a statement, President Obama said he is "confident that Janet will stand up for American workers, protect consumers, foster the stability of our financial system, and help keep our economy growing for years to come."

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