President Obama has nominated Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as head of the Fed starting next year.
Obama made the announcement this afternoon in the State Dining Room of the White House -- setting Yellen on course to become the first woman to lead the Fed in its 100-year history.
The president called her “one of the nation’s foremost economists and policy makers.”
You’ve likely already learned some things about her in the politicized debate over the last few months surrounding who would be the next Fed chair. But in the accompanying video and below, we reveal the five things about her you may not know about Yellen:
- She’s rich. Annual financial disclosures that the Fed has released show Yellen to be one of the wealthiest members of the central bank’s board of governors, the New York Times reports. Check out the video to see what she’s invested in and how many millions of dollars her assets are worth.
- She’s the top Fed forecaster. A Wall Street Journal study of 700 economic predictions made by 14 Fed policymakers from 2009 to 2012 found Yellen was the most accurate forecaster overall. She also scored in the top four for her forecasts on inflation, labor, and growth.
- She’s not a political insider. Though she was head of the Council of Economic Advisers for two years during the Clinton administration, she doesn’t appear to have close ties to this administration or Congress. While Larry Summers has visited the White House at least ten times since he left as director of the National Economic Council at the end of 2010 – including four meetings with the president – Yellen has been to the White House only once in two years. Check out the video to see how that compares to her meetings with other central bankers and to her visits to Congress.
- She’s married to a Nobel Prize - winning economist. Her husband is George Akerlof, an economist at UC Berkeley. One of his best known articles: "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism." The paper delves into the theory of information asymmetry by using the market for used cars -- lemons -- as an example.
- She wouldn’t be the first woman to lead a central bank. While she would be the first woman to head the Fed, she would join a list of 17 women already who lead central banks around the world (that’s out of 177 central banks). See the video for some of the countries where women have this top spot.
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