Janet Yellen, in other people’s words

By Ben Walsh
October 9, 2013

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Janet Yellen today accepted the President’s nomination to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. We’re here to help you get up to speed:

“Yellen continued her tradition of standing in the cafeteria lunch line with the proletariat and eating with the staff.” – Bloomberg Businessweek

“The WSJ examined more than 700 predictions made between 2009 and 2012 in speeches and congressional testimony by 14 Fed policy makers… The most accurate forecasts overall came from Ms Yellen.” – WSJ

“Yellen has a much better track record of correctly analyzing the economic situation.” – Bill McBride, Calculated Risk

“With the exception of certain commentators who get paid ostensibly to act like inveterate morons, nobody has doubted Janet Yellen’s record of analytical prescience in the past decade.” – Cardiff Garcia

“Yellen is brilliant and tough. She displays this not by needing to prove to you that she’s the smartest person in the room, but instead by always asking the right questions.” – James Hamilton

“She typically scripts herself in advance and reads those prepared comments… She is methodical, not manic.” – Neil Irwin

“Her record suggests that she is not an ideologue… Noted critics of the Fed’s monetary policies… have publicly vouched for Yellen’s open-mindedness and willingness to listen to competing views.” – Sheila Bair

“Perhaps the most important, but least understood, asset Janet Yellen would bring to the table is an ability to manage the fractious FOMC.” – Alan Blinder

“Yellen brings to bear an understanding not just of financial markets and monetary policy, but also of labor markets – which is essential in an era when unemployment and wage stagnation are primary concerns.” – Joseph Stiglitz

“She has expressed greater concern about the economic consequences of unemployment, a stronger conviction in the Fed’s ability to stimulate job growth and a greater willingness to tolerate a little more inflation in order to reduce unemployment more quickly.” – Binyamin Appelbaum

“She also holds that aggressive monetary stimulus only works if inflation is anchored around the central bank’s target of 2%.” – Bloomberg

“Janet Yellen… has evolved—in her own words—from a slightly “docile” regional bank regulator into a proponent of hard and clear rules designed to make banks less risky.” – WSJ

“An overseer who tried to point out dangers in the banking system before the situation came to a crisis in 2008, but who didn’t act forcefully against banks that she saw taking excessive risk because she didn’t believe she had adequate authority.” – Center for Public Integrity

“Ms Yellen had a front-row seat to the crisis and the buildup of risks that caused [the financial crisis], and along the way she identified some of the growing dangers that many other officials missed or dismissed. Like most, Ms Yellen… vastly underestimated the severity of those repercussions.” – WSJ

“Reading philosophy so that I can write unpopular essays.” – Janet Yellen interviews herself on her interests in her high school paper

“Janet Yellen’s high school friends remember her as brilliant and imperturbable.” – Business Insider

Among Fed chairs, “Ms Yellen will certainly go down in history for having the best newspaper experience early in her life, in both high school and college.” – WSJ

“ With apologies to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Yellen is about to become the most powerful woman in US history.” – Matt Phillips

“Yellen is quite simply more qualified for the job than any of her predecessors.” – Justin Wolfers

– Ben Walsh

On to today’s links:

New Normal
The global wealth pyramid – FT Alphaville

Twitter
“You can either be a dressmaker or the CEO of Twitter” – Quartz

Efficient Markets
“Gangnam Style… was an exogenous shock to international investor enthusiasm about DI Corp” – SSRN

Primary Sources
The September Fed minutes: most members support taper this year and an end to QE in mid-2014 – Federal Reserve
“Shorter FOMC minutes: this economy management stuff is hard” – FT Alphaville

Niche Markets
JP Morgan might get out of the lending-money-to-pawn-shops business – WSJ
Britons borrow more than 2 billion pounds a year at theoretical annualized interest rates of 5,853% – Bloomberg

Politicking
The price of prioritization: $175 billion a month, possibly a recession, and hard to quantify chaos – Bloomberg

Oxpeckers
Get ready for Twitter TV – Peter Kafka
The FT gives up on breaking news in print – FT

Possibly Useless Data
“In this vision of the apocalypse, Babylon is inhabited by the users of metrics, not their marketers or makers” – Brian Belson

Trends
Boat shoes, “like so much other apparel that was hot in the 1980s, have caught up with trends once again” – Businessweek

Listicles
Everything Jonathan Franzen (currently) hates – NY Mag

Servicey
You probably like cheating because it makes you feel clever – NYT

Apt
CNBC fires two “American Greed” staffers for stealing – Chris Roush

Wonks
Nelly: there isn’t a cosmetic band aid big enough to heal the wound that is the government shutdown – Politico

Jobs
The “red-hot market for compliance officers” – Reuters

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