Regardless of who holds the position, the Federal Reserve chairman always plays an influential role in the financial services industry, for both investors and savers. But Janet Yellen, the first woman to serve as the chair of the Fed Board of Governors, arrived in office just as the Fed was beginning to tighten the quantitative easing spigot. As the Fed tapers the bond purchases it started in response to the financial crisis, many observers worry about the effect on the stock market, while others are worried about the risk of inflation or deflation. Everybody is worried about the effect of higher interest rates on economic growth and for the bond market.
Some have wondered, however, if Yellen’s tenure will simply be a continuation of her predecessor’s.
She said as much in her semiannual monetary policy report before the House Committee on Financial Services in early February, pledging to continue former Chairman Ben Bernanke’s work and emphasizing that she expects “a great deal of continuity in the FOMC’s approach to monetary policy.”
She added that she served on the committee as it formulated the current strategy. “I strongly support that strategy, which is designed to fulfill the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate of maximum employment and price stability,” she said in February.
In an interview last year, another IA 25 nominee, Schwab’s Liz Ann Sonders, said that while Yellen is a consensus builder like Bernanke, she may not let the consensus-building process go on as long as he was wont to do. “She may make a decision faster,” Sonders said.