Janet Yellen sworn in as Fed chair

Janet Yellen was sworn in Monday to succeed Ben Bernanke, becoming the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history.

Ben Bernanke heads to Washington think-tank Brookings Institution

Janet Yellen is sworn in as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday. (Federal Reserve)

Janet Yellen was sworn in Monday to succeed Ben Bernanke, becoming the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history.

Yellen, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, was sworn in by Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, the senior member of the Fed's seven-member board.

She took the oath in a brief ceremony in front of a fireplace in the Fed's massive board room. Her husband, Nobel-winning economist George Akerloff, was present as were other Fed board members and Fed staff.

I was kind of like if you're in a car wreck. You're mostly involved in trying to avoid going off the bridge. And then later on you say, ‘Oh, my God,’- Ben Bernanke on the financial crisis

Yellen, 67, made no remarks at her swearing in but did smile to acknowledge the applause of the assembled group.

Nominated by President Barack Obama on Oct. 9, her four-year term as chairman will end on Feb. 3, 2018.

Meanwhile, the Brookings Institution, announced Monday that Bernanke was joining the Washington think-tank as a distinguished fellow in residence.

Bernanke stepped down on Friday after eight years as Fed chairman. He had said he planned to stay in Washington and was looking forward to writing and giving speeches on economic policy.

In its welcome to Bernanke, the Brookings Institution quoted him comparing handling the 2008 financial crisis as like a "car wreck."

“I was kind of like if you're in a car wreck. You're mostly involved in trying to avoid going off the bridge. And then later on you say, ‘Oh, my God,’ ” Bernanke was quoted as saying on the Brookings website.   

Yellen, who served as Fed vice chair since 2010, has been a close Bernanke ally. She is expected to continue the Fed's policy of maintaining low interest rates while scaling back on the Fed's bond buying program. The Fed announced a second $10 billion US reduction in the bond buying at last week's meeting, Bernanke's last as chairman.

Yellen will get to explain her views in more detail next week when she delivers the Fed's twice-a-year policy report to Congress. She will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 11.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.