Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the Federal Reserve on Monday as investors worried over China and other emerging markets.
The 67-year-old was sworn in by the Fed governor Daniel Tarullo, the senior member of the Fed’s seven-member board, in a brief ceremony in front of a fireplace in the Fed’s massive board room. Her husband, the Nobel-winning economist George Akerloff, was present. She made no remarks.
Yellen will immediately have her work cut out. On 11 February, she will appear before a congressional committee to answer questions on the economy, her policy views and regulation. She will then have to begin preparing for her first meeting as chair of the federal open markets committee (FOMC), which sets interest rates and monetary policy. That meeting, on 19-20 March, will be followed by her first press conference as Fed chair.
Yellen takes control of the Fed as the central bank has begun to unwind its massive economic stimulus programme, known as quantitative easing (QE). Yellen was a staunch supporter of QE as vice-chair to her predecessor, Ben Bernanke.