As the chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen heads the central bank of the world’s biggest economy.
Against many of her peers, other central bankers, the only aspect of her which could be described as small is her physical stature.
Her decisions on interest rates, money supply or even an offhand comment can add or subtract billions of dollars from financial markets.
She has serious global clout. But in Sydney, she’s unrecognisable.
During the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Sydney at the weekend, the 67-year-old white-haired economist was walking to breakfast when she was stopped.
“Dr Yellen was politely asked by an event staff member (not security guard) if she had an accreditation pass,” a spokesperson for Australia’s Treasury said.
Apparently she hadn’t been wearing her official G20 photo ID when she went into a delegates’ zone.
“She did have her pass and she put it on and there weren’t any issues,” the Treasury spokesperson said.
Yellen, who succeeded Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chair, was among the officials attending the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers, chaired by Australian federal Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Yellen, sometimes referred to as the world’s most powerful woman, is a Yale graduate and has been on the board of the US Federal Reserve since 1994 following a distinguished career as an economics academic.
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