Senate confirms Yellen as Fed chair

The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, making her the third consecutive Jew and the first woman to be the top U.S. government banker.

Yellen was confirmed in a 56-26 vote Jan. 5. She succeeds Ben Bernanke, who followed Alan Greenspan.

Yellen, 67, has been vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve since 2010. She also is professor emerita at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and was president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010.

Yellen has pledged to continue Bernanke’s commitment to transparency and is noted for her emphasis on diminishing unemployment over tackling inflation.

According to media reports, a top contender to replace her in the vice chairman’s post is Stanley Fischer, a former World Bank chief economist who from 2005 to 2013 was governor of the Bank of Israel. Fischer holds dual Israel-U.S. citizenship. — jta