Who is Janet Yellen?

Powell says Fed’s tools to combat coronavirus will remain until economy improves

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testify before a Senate committee regarding the CARES Act. FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more.

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Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, no longer leads the U.S. central bank, but she's still played a valuable role in advising lawmakers and the general public about the risks the coronavirus pandemic poses to the U.S. economy.

Yellen, the first woman to head the central bank, began her first four-year term in 2014 after she was appointed by former President Barack Obama, guiding the economy on its path to recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2018, she was succeeded by Jerome Powell.


Under her tenure, unemployment fell to 4.1 percent — a decline of 2.6 percentage points from when she first started — and inflation remained below 2 percent. A resounding majority of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal in 2017 gave her positive reviews, with 60 percent saying she deserved an "A" on her performance. Thirty percent gave her a "B."

She is the first Fed chair not to be reappointed after serving a first full term.


Yellen, 73, sits on California's economic recovery task force and has spoken with House representatives via telephone about fiscal stimulus plans to offset the pain of the virus outbreak.

Born in Brooklyn, Yellen earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1971 before rising through the ranks of academia. She served as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank beginning in 2004 through 2010; in 2010, she was appointed as vice chair of the Fed's board of governors in Washington.


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