January 06, 2014

Senate confirms Yellen as Fed chair

The Senate, by a vote of 56-26, last night confirmed Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board to succeed Ben Bernanke, who completes his term at the end of this month.

"We congratulate Governor Yellen on her confirmation and look forward to a continued, productive dialogue with the Federal Reserve on issues important to credit unions and their communities," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger.

Yellen will be the first woman to serve as Fed chair. Her term as chair will continue through January 2018.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said Yellen "has proven through her extensive and impressive record in public service and academia that she is most qualified to be the next Chair." He added, "Americans should feel reassured that we will have her at the helm of the Fed as our nation continues to recover from the Great Recession."

Testifying Nov. 14 before the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen acknowledged the need for regulatory relief for small institutions, including credit unions. She indicated that the Fed's quantitative easing will remain in place until the data dictate otherwise. However, she said the Fed doesn't see risks to financial stability or evidence of an asset bubble developing as a result of continued low rates.

The Federal Open Market Committee last month announced the first small step toward a tapering of QE. Beginning this month, the Fed is reducing its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion, to a total of $75 billion. For now, the federal funds target rate remains at a range of 0 to 0.25 percent.

NAFCU's board met with Yellen at Federal Reserve Board headquarters in December 2012 on issues important to the Fed and credit unions.