Credit: International Monetary Fund on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
(WOMENSENEWS)–As news broke Oct. 9 that President Barack Obama was nominating Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Board of Governor of the Federal Reserve System, to the top post of chair of the Federal Reserve it was hard to find an unkind word on Twitter about the nominee.
A #Yellen search yielded comments such as:
#WomanCrushWednesday Janet Yellen. Because brains and integrity.
— KittyFitzGerald (@kittyFitz50) October 9, 2013
Many tweets also included the hashtag #WomanCrushWednesday. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve.
A Reuter’s headline was heavily re-tweeted: “PRECIOUS – Gold Falls 1 Pct as Yellen News Lifts Dollar.” The headline was considered a mark of the financial markets’ confidence in Yellen since gold is a safe-haven “bearish” investment and investors who leave it are widely assumed to be feeling more upbeat about the economy’s direction.
Another bullish tweet read:
Yellen news helps dollar, steadies Wall Street $INDU
— Dow Jones News (@dowbands) October 9, 2013
The Washington Post ran a list of “nine amazing facts” about Yellen on the morning of Oct. 9. Included in the list were Yellen’s inherited stamp collection worth up to $50,000 and her Nobel Prize-winning husband, George Akerlof, also an economist.
After Yellen’s appointment was announced, online publication Think Progress, an initiative started by the nonpartisan Center for American Progress Action Fund, said that “Yellen would be the first woman to run the Fed, breaking a glass ceiling in an area full of glass ceilings.” The article added that many saw sexism, or at least bias, in the debate over whether Yellen would be qualified for the job prior to Lawrence Summers’ withdrawal from the race.
Heidi Hartmann, president of the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told Women’s eNews that Yellen’s nomination shows wise judgment by Obama.
“Her strong support among a range of economists, both male and female, right- and left-leaning, indicates that she is the right person for the job, regardless of her gender. She has the intellect, background and leadership skills to be an effective, creative and decisive leader of the Fed,” she said in an email interview.
Business Insider talked to two of Yellen’s high school friends for a brief biography posted on Oct. 9. In the article, Charles Saydah, her colleague on the school paper, describes Yellen as “a classic ’60s liberal.” Her friends describe her as a polymath who was both interested and excelled in many subjects.
A blog post in the Wall Street Journal, posted shortly after news of her pending nomination, suggested that Yellen would provoke “aggressive” means to end the rampant unemployment and would spearhead a new Fed philosophy that moderate inflation is necessary to prevent recession. The post also spoke of her decision to increase interest rates temporarily in order to hinder high inflation.
Reshmi Kaur Oberoi is an editorial intern with Women’s eNews and is a New York-based freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter @ReshmiKO.
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