On Wednesday, President Obama officially announced that the current Federal Reserve vice chairwoman Janet Yellen is his pick to replace Ben Bernanke when he leaves the Federal Reserve chairmanship in January. With Yellen on Obama's right, Bernanke on the left, Obama paid "tribute" to Bernanke's tenure as Fed chair while announcing Yellen's nomination. Assuming she's confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will be the first female chair in the Fed's history.
"I'm honored and humbled by the faith that you've placed in me," Yellen said in a short speech following her nomination. "If confirmed by the Senate, I'll do my upmost to meet that trust." She added: "The mandate of the Federal Reserve is to serve all the American people. And too many Americans still can't find a job," she said. "The Federal Reserve can help if it does its job effectively."
Praising the "strong leadership" of Bernanke, Obama said that "I want you to know, Ben, I'm personally grateful to you" for his leadership during the recession. Obama also praised what he termed Bernanke's "fedspeak:" "with his commitment to greater transparency and clarity, he's also helped us to better understand the work of the fed." Yellen also praised her time working under Bernanke as vice chair.
On his choice of Yellen, Obama said that "the next chair will help guide our economy after I leave office," emphasizing the importance of the decision he faced in replacing Bernanke. He added of Yellen: "She's tough, and not just because she's from Brooklyn." The president praised her "exemplary" time as vice chair for the past three years, adding, "Janet is renowned for her good judgement. She sounded the alarm early on the housing bubble," he added, saying that American workers will have a "champion" in Janet Yellen.