WASHINGTON (AP) — In a history-making selection, President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, a critical post as the nation continues its fitful economic recovery. If confirmed she would be the first woman to lead the powerful central bank.
Yellen, who currently holds the No. 2 spot at the Fed, would replace Ben Bernanke, whose eight-year tenure at the helm of the Fed ends Jan. 31.
Obama introduced Yellen as a "proven leader." ''And she's tough, not just because she's from Brooklyn," he said. He credited her for being a consensus builder, adding: "She understands the human cost when people can't find a job."
Before selecting Yellen, Obama had considered nominating former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who had been a close Obama adviser during the first years of his presidency. But Summers withdrew in the face of opposition over his temperament and past support for bank deregulation.
Obama heaped praise on Bernanke for taking "bold action" at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 to "shore up our banks and get credit flowing again."
"Ben Bernanke is the epitome of calm, and against the volatility of global markets he's been a voice of wisdom and a steady hand," Obama said.
The central bank reaches into the lives of millions of Americans. Its two main missions are fostering maximum employment and stabilizing prices. With its power to regulate the supply of money and set interest rates, it influences economic activity, hiring and inflation. It also is the leading regulator of banks and plays a crucial role as the country's lender of last resort when banks can't get their money elsewhere.
In accepting the nomination, Yellen said more still needs to be done to strengthen the recovery. She said the past six years have been tumultuous for the economy and challenging for many Americans. She said that while the recovery is not complete, "we have made progress, the economy is stronger and the financial system is sounder."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
New Mexico is at the beginning of a deep freeze, and state officials are paying close attention.
A Santa Fe woman who failed to show up for work on Tuesday is now reported as missing, according to police who are asking the public's help in locating her.
The bicyclist killed in a collision at Kirtland Air Force Base on Wednesday has been identified as a marine corps veteran and long-time employee of Lockheed martin.
The people who benefit the most by earning their GED will soon have the toughest time getting it.
A man who carjacked a woman in a church parking lot will spend seven years in prison as part of a plea deal.
Flags were lowered to half-staff across South Africa and people in black townships, in upscale mostly white suburbs and in the country's vast rural grasslands commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday while …