Time assisant managing editor Rana Foroohar is clearly a mouth-breathing fangirl of Janet Yellen, the new chair of the Fed. Liberal women have obviously bonded.
In the January 13 edition of Time, Foroohar began her Yellen profile with goo: "When the right person is holding the right job at the right moment, that person’s influence is greatly expanded. That is the position in which Janet Yellen, who is expected to be confirmed as the next chair of the Federal Reserve bank in January, now finds herself."
If you believe, as many do, that unemployment is the major economic and social concern of our day, then it is no stretch to think Yellen is the most powerful person in the world right now....
The good news is that Yellen, 67, is particularly well suited to meet these challenges. Nobel laureate and Columbia economics professor Joseph Stiglitz remembers Yellen, whom he taught at Yale, as one of his brightest students, someone with a keen understanding of financial markets, an appreciation for their imperfections, and a strong belief “that human suffering was more related to unemployment than anything else.”
The article contained one skeptical note from Fed historian Allan Meltzer. It closed with happy talk about her accomplishments to come:
Princeton professor Alan Blinder, who was Fed vice chair in the 1990s [under Clinton], remembers speaking many times with Yellen “about how the Fed was being too lax on regulation of finance. And since then,” says Blinder, “it’s only gotten worse.”
That’s an issue Yellen is likely to address – right after she pushes unemployment below 6%, stabilizes markets, and makes sure that the recovery is more inclusive and robust. As Blinder says, “She’s smart as a whip, deeply logical, willing to argue but also a good listener. She can persuade without antagonizing.” All these traits will be useful as the global economy’s new power player takes on the most vexing problems.