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We have been living in the Bernanke Era since 2006, a period at the Federal Reserve where Quantitative Easing, or QE, became the tool of choice for propping up Wall Street. Ben Bernanke is retiring soon, and after a rather messy nomination process by the White House that saw Larry Summers surface then sink in a matter of a couple weeks, we now have learned that Janet Yellen is the President's choice to follow Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Yellen is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Fed and has had some involvement with the Fed for many years. After a period on the Fed and in the Clinton administration in the 1990s, Yellen became President of the San Francisco Fed in 2004. She is seen essentially as Bernanke, Jr.; another believer in the QE theory of monetary management that helped the stock market rebound after the crisis that followed the housing bubble burst in 2008.
An economist and former Berkeley professor, Yellen is married to another economist, Nobel Prize winning George Akerlof with whom she has co-authored several economic papers.
Janet Yellen's term as Fed chief will be a milestone at the 100-year old institution: she will be the first ever woman to head the central bank, a position that is arguably the most powerful monetary leader in the world.
Larry Kudlow of CNBC has called Yellen, "The Queen of the Doves," a reference for her penchant for the pump, pump, pump QE policy of the outgoing Chairman Bernanke.
One reason Yellen may have been chosen over Summers is her apparent like-ability on the Hill. She has enough support among Democrats that Harry Reid should be able to muscle her though the confirmation process with the help of a few Republicans.
"I commend President Obama on his selection of Dr. Yellen to be the first woman to serve as Federal Reserve Chairman. She has a depth of experience that is second to none, and I have no doubt she will be an excellent Federal Reserve Chairman," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-SD, said in a statement.
I myself believe the Fed's never ending QE policy is doing more harm than good at this point, propping up Wall Street at the expense of the middle class. With Yellen, expect the happy days on Wall Street to continue, while main street still deals with a real economy that is ailing and an unemployment situation that is far worse than the rosy picture Obama's Labor Department paints for us every month.