President Obama will reportedly nominate Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to head the central bank, making her the first woman in the institution’s 99-year history to do so if she is confirmed by the Senate.

Yellen was almost eclipsed by Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary, economic adviser, Wall Street hanger-on and Harvard president who was reported to be President Obama’s first choice. Summers was forced to drop out of contention in September, facing opposition from Democrats within the Senate. There were a couple of knocks on Summers — he has received millions in speaking and consulting fees from banks and hedge funds and was a champion of the deregulation that led to the financial meltdown. Also, Summers once said that women were biologically predisposed to be bad at math and science, and his elevation to Fed chair would promote him over a more qualified woman who happens to be very good at math.

Yellen is known as a moderate who worked closely with current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The New York Times reports that she made a name for herself in academia by favoring increased regulation, and she is said to have noted the housing market as a bubble before its collapse. However, as the Times describes her, her views are closer to the administration’s than to “liberal Democrats on several regulatory issues. She is not, for example, a supporter of the push to break up large banks.”

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