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Yellen picked to take over Fed

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By Reuters
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 9:15 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce his choice of Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to be the next head of the central bank on Wednesday, putting her on course to be the first woman to lead the institution in its 100-year history.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would replace Ben Bernanke, whose second four-year term as head of the Fed expires on Jan. 31.

Obama is scheduled to make the announcement at the White House at 3 p.m., a White House official said on Tuesday. Bernanke is scheduled to attend.

Yellen has been a forceful advocate of aggressive action to drive down unemployment and would provide continuity with the policies the Fed has established under Bernanke. Her main challenge will be to steer policy back to a more normal footing and slowly wind down the extraordinary measures taken in the five years since the financial crisis.

The former professor has a long history in the top ranks of economic policymaking, including her service over the past three years as the Fed's No. 2 official.

Yellen, 67, would have to oversee the tricky process of reversing the extraordinary stimulus the central bank put in place to shore up the world's largest economy, which eclipses Japan and China put together.

If she wins the Senate's backing, as expected, she would join the Fed's honor roll along with such household names as Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, predecessors as head of an institution that can influence the course of the world economy.

“She's an excellent choice, and I believe she'll be confirmed by a wide margin,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y..

Stock index futures rose on the news.

“The market will be mildly pleased,” said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel. “She uses the same playbook as Bernanke, and the market should not expect any change to the status quo.”

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