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The enigma of Janet Yellen

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She who is about to become the most consequential woman in the history of American government will find it easier to be confirmed than it was to be nominated as the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Janet Yellen probably was the president’s second choice, but Senate Democrats demonstrated their intention and ability to reject Larry Summers.

Yellen, whose confirmation hearings are expected to begin Thursday, is suited to be the most important nomination of Barack Obama’s second term (unless there is another Supreme Court vacancy). She is experienced and accomplished, and she represents a broad swath of academic thinking about the power of monetary policy and the Fed’s proper role in wielding that power.

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