Obama Will Nominate Janet Yellen For Fed Chair -- Set To Become Most Powerful Woman In The World

Janet yellenREUTERS/ Robert GalbraithJanet Yellen, vice chair of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System

President Barack Obama will announce the nomination Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, a White House official said.

Assuming she is confirmed (which should be easy) the post will make Yellen the most powerful woman in American history, as the Fed has tremendous independence and influence on the US and world economies.

Obama will announce her nomination Wednesday afternoon US time during an event in the East Room of the White House, the official said.

Yellen, the current Fed vice chair, would succeed Ben Bernanke, who will appear at the White House event on Wednesday. If she is confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first female chair of the Fed.

Yellen’s nomination would finish off months of public speculation that centred on whether Obama would nominate Yellen or Larry Summers, a former economic adviser with whom Obama is close.

In mid-September, after facing resistance from liberal Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee, Summers withdrew his candidacy, citing the expectation of a potential “acrimonious” confirmation process.

Yellen’s nomination comes in the face of fiscal battles in Washington.

On Wednesday, the federal government shutdown entered into its eighth full day on Tuesday, with no immediate end in sight. And Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 — nine days away — to avoid a potential default.

Yellen has been second-in-command at the Fed since 2010. Senators immediately said they expected her to be confirmed without drama.

“She’s an excellent choice and I believe she’ll be confirmed by a wide margin,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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