On Oct. 9, President Obama announced that he has chosen Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. If the Senate confirms the nomination, she will be the first woman to hold the central bank's top position. Yellen currently holds the second-highest spot in the organization, and Bernanke's term ends on Jan. 31, 2014.
At the announcement, Obama praised Bernanke, saying, “Ben Bernanke is the epitome of calm, and against the volatility of global markets he’s been a voice of wisdom and a steady hand.” He then said that “American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen.”
Supporters of Yellen believe that her economic views, which are similar to Bernanke's, will bring stability to markets in the form of continuity of monetary policy. Her opponents believe that Bernanke's policies have failed, and that Yellen will continue on a Keynesian path that artificially boosts Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.
Yellen was one of the first Federal Reserve governors to warn about the Great Recession, saying in December 2007 that “the possibilities of a credit crunch developing and of the economy slipping into a recession seem all too real.” However, adherents of the Austrian School of Economics were warning about such a possibility as early as 2003.
Following the announcement, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.45 points (0.18 percent) to 14,802.98, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.95 (0.06 percent) to 1,656.40. The Nasdaq composite index fell 17.06 points (0.46 percent) to 3,677.78. The price of gold fell $3.00 (0.23 percent) to $1,302.59, while the other three precious metals rose, with silver rising $0.02 (0.11 percent) to $21.89, palladium rising $2.12 (0.30 percent) to $704.05, and platinum rising $4.00 (0.29 percent) to $1,385.45.