January 31, 2014

Yellen sworn in today, testifies next week

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen will be sworn in today and is slated to give her first testimony on the Fed's monetary policy next week before House and Senate committees.

Yellen testifies Feb. 11 before the House Financial Services Committee and Feb. 13 before the Senate Banking Committee.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said, "It is important for the Federal Reserve to operate in the most transparent and predictable manner it possibly can to best serve the American people … as the Financial Services Committee embarks upon its most vigorous and sustained oversight of the Federal Reserve ever, I look forward to working with Chairman Yellen to accomplish these goals."

In his statement, Hensarling also expressed concern about the country's debt and the Fed's purchasing of U.S. Treasury securities – "swelling its balance sheets to an unheard of $4 trillion."

After a two-day policy meeting last week, the Federal Open Market Committee announced the Fed will taper its asset-purchase program by another $10 billion beginning in February, to a pace of $65 billion a month, but is leaving its federal funds rate target unchanged for now. This follows the Fed's decision to begin tapering asset purchases by $10 billion in January, to a pace of $75 billion a month.