All posts by Agustino Fontevecchia

Janet Yellen: No Equity Bubble, No Real Estate Bubble, And No QE Taper Yet, (by Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes Staff)

220px-Janet_Yellen_official_portraitJanet Louise Yellen is an American economist and professor who is the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Previously, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton, and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley‘s Haas School of Business. On October 9, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Yellen to be Chair of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed, Yellen would be the first woman to hold the position

This report was posted in Forbes on November 14 2013.

In her first public appearance as nominee to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen faced the Senate Banking Committee, reiterating her intention to keep the monetary spigots wide open while rejecting the notion that we are seeing asset bubbles as a consequence of quantitative easing. Yellen noted there is “no set time” for tapering, implicitly admitted the Fed lost control of the market during the summer so-called taper tantrum, and agreed that investors buy gold to protect from “catastrophe.”
“It could be costly to fail to provide accommodation [to the market],” Yellen told Senators on Thursday, making it clear that she is a staunch supporter of quantitative easing and ultra-loose monetary policy. “This program can’t continue indefinitely,” she also added, noting the longer we have QE the greater the risk for financial stability, “and I look forward to leading when the time is appropriate for normalizing.”

Yellen, who has served at the Federal Reserve “at different times and in different roles over the past 36 years,” confirmed she shares Ben Bernanke’s convictions.  A dove within the FOMC, Thursday hearing makes it clear that under Yellen, the Fed will continue in the same path activism and increased communication.

Her style, in terms of public speaking, differs dramatically from Bernanke, who at times was confrontational and assertive.  Yellen is soft spoken and chooses to deconstruct every argument, answering every point from a technical perspective.  After giving some creed to other opinions, though, she will stand her ground, as when she acknowledged QE hadn’t been perfect, yet it has made “a meaningful contribution” to economic growth, particularly creating a wealth effect and boosting the housing and the auto market.

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