Although Obama is set to reclaim the presidency, several of his appointments might not follow him to the end of his second term. It is probable that Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, will not seek reappointment at the end of his term in 2014. It has been speculated that the next Fed chair will be Janet Yellen. She currently holds the vice chair position. Should she be nominated, Yellen would be the Fed's first chairwoman.
Vice Chair Yellen's credentials are extensive and impressive. According to the Federal Reserve Dr. Yellen was:
- Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley
- Professor of Business and Professor of Economics since 1980
- Served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System through
- Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton
- Chair of the Economic Policy Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- Member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Former President of the Western Economic Association
- Vice President of the American Economic Association and a Fellow of the Yale Corporation
- Graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics in
- Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University
Bernanke could remain at the helm until 2020, but several sources have indicated his return to be unlikely. Experience as the President of the San Francisco Fed and possessing views similar to Bernanke’s have made Yellen a contender for the position. Continuity in fiscal policies is critical to reducing volatility in the market, which could spike after the announcement of a new Federal Reserve Chairperson.
"[L]et me reiterate that the program of asset purchases initiated by the Federal Open Market Committee in November is intended to support economic recovery from an exceptionally deep recession and to restore inflation to, but not above, levels that FOMC participants consider consistent with price stability. It will not be a panacea, but I believe it will be effective in fostering maximum employment and price stability."
Her pragmatic and empirical approach to policy making has earned her much esteem within the finance community. Yellen has also been known to be a powerful communicator, making her a promising leader in a shaky economy.