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美联储首位“女掌门”出炉

Obama to nominate Yellen as Bernanke successor

中国日报网 2013-10-11 16:34

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美联储首位“女掌门”出炉

美联储副主席珍妮特·耶伦将成为美联储史上首位“女掌门”。

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President Barack Obama will nominate Federal Reserve vice chair Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the nation's central bank, the White House said Tuesday. Yellen would be the first woman to head the powerful Fed, taking over at a pivotal time for the economy and the banking industry.

Both Yellen and Bernanke are scheduled to appear with Obama at the White House on Wednesday for a formal announcement.

Bernanke's term ends in January, completing a remarkable eight-year tenure in which he helped pull the U.S. economy out of the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930's.

Under Bernanke's leadership, the Fed created extraordinary programs after the financial crisis erupted in 2008. It lent money to banks after credit markets froze, cut its key short-term interest rate to near zero and bought trillions in bonds to lower long-term borrowing rates.

Those programs are credited with helping save the U.S. banking system.

Yellen emerged as the leading candidate after Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary whom Obama was thought to favor, withdrew from consideration last month in the face of rising opposition.

Yellen, 67, would likely continue steering Fed policy in the same direction as Bernanke. A close ally of the chairman, she has been a key architect of the Fed's efforts under Bernanke to keep interest rates near record lows to support the economy.

As vice chair since 2010, Yellen has helped manage both the Fed's traditional tool of short-term rates and the unconventional programs it launched to help sustain the economy after the financial crisis erupted in 2008. These include the Fed's monthly bond purchases and its guidance to investors about the likely direction of rates.

"She's an excellent choice and I believe she'll be confirmed by a wide margin," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Obama's choice of Yellen coincides with a key turning point for the Fed. Within the next several months, the Fed is expected to start slowing the pace of its Treasury and mortgage bond purchases if the economy strengthens. The Fed's purchases have been intended to keep loan rates low to encourage borrowing and spending.

Yet even after the Fed scales back its bond buying, its policies will remain geared toward keeping borrowing rates low to try to accelerate growth and lower unemployment. The unemployment rate is a still-high 7.3 percent. Few expect the Fed to start raising the short-term rate it controls before 2015 at the earliest.

Yellen had long been considered a logical candidate for the chairmanship in part because of her expertise as an economist, her years as a top bank regulator and her experience in helping manage the Fed's polices. Her understanding of the financial system is widely respected: Before the crisis struck, she was among a minority of top economists who had warned correctly that subprime mortgages posed a severe threat.

On the Fed, Yellen has built a reputation as a "dove" — someone who is typically more concerned about keeping interest rates low to reduce unemployment than about raising them to avert high inflation. Her nomination could face resistance from congressional critics who argue that the Fed's low-rate policies have raised the risk of high inflation and might be breeding dangerous bubbles in assets like stocks or real estate.

Still, Yellen has said that when the economy finally begins growing faster and rates will need to be raised to prevent high inflation, she will move in that direction.

In the weeks leading to her selection, Yellen and Summers emerged as the two top contenders and were drawn into a highly unusual public battle. Yellen and Summers themselves kept quiet. But their warring camps waged a fight that stirred up Congress, spawned opinion columns and letters from Congress and triggered commentary from notables both inside and outside the economics profession.

Yellen drew outspoken support from Senate Democrats, a third of whom signed a letter this summer urging Obama to choose her. Last month, more than 350 economists signed a letter to Obama urging him to nominate Yellen. The letter argued that Yellen understands the relationship between interest-rate policy and economic growth, possesses a "nuanced understanding" of job markets and is inclined as a policymaker to consider all points of view.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first Democrat chosen to lead the Fed since Paul Volcker was picked by Jimmy Carter in 1979. Bernanke, who served for eight years, and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, who did so for 18½ years, were Republicans. She would also be the first vice chair of the Fed to ascend to the chairmanship.

Yellen served as a Fed board member for three years in the 1990s before leaving to head the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration. She also served for six years as president of the Fed's regional bank in San Francisco before Obama chose her in 2010 for the No. 2 spot on the Fed's seven-member board in Washington.

In addition to helping devise the Fed's rate policies, she has been instrumental in carrying out another top priority of Bernanke's — making the Fed, an institution whose operations were long walled off from the public view, far more open and transparent. The Bernanke-led Fed did so through news conferences, clearer public communications and detailed guidance about the Fed's expectations for the economy and policymaking.

Yellen, like Bernanke, was a distinguished college economics professor before joining the Fed. She taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1980 until 1994 when President Bill Clinton chose her to join the Fed's board in Washington. She served on the Fed's board of governors until February 1997, when Clinton chose her to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Yellen would not only be the first woman to head the U.S. central bank; she also would be the first woman ever to head a major central bank anywhere in the world.

Yellen was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Brown University in 1967 with highest honors in economics. She received her doctorate in economics in 1971 from Yale, where she studied under the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin. In a 1997 interview with Business Week magazine, Tobin described Yellen as having "a genius for expressing complicated arguments simply and clearly."

She was an assistant professor at Harvard University from 1971 to 1976 and then worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve in Washington from 1977 to 1978. She met her husband, George Akerlof, in a Fed cafeteria. The two worked together for many years on the Berkeley faculty. Akerlof shared a Nobel in economics in 2001 with Joseph E. Stiglitz and A. Michael Spence.

Yellen was known as a pragmatist in her economic research, which ranged from studies on urban gang behavior to currency problems facing Germany after its reunification.

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综合外国媒体报道,美国白宫10月8日宣布,该国总统奥巴马将在9日提名美国联邦储备委员会(Fed)现任副主席珍妮特•耶伦接任本•伯南克,担任下一任美联储主席。如果上述提名获参议院同意,耶伦将成为史上执掌美联储的首位女性。

***美联储首位“女掌门”

按照计划,耶伦和伯南克9日将与奥巴马一同出现在白宫,发布正式声明。

伯南克的任期将于2014年1月31日结束,他在美联储任职8年间成绩卓越,帮助美国经济走出自20世纪30年代以来最严重的金融危机和经济衰退。在其领导下,美联储在2008年金融危机爆发后创建了一系列项目,包括在信贷市场冻结后向银行放贷、下调短期利率接近于零、以及购买数万亿美元的债券以降低长期借贷利率,这些举措为拯救美国银行系统发挥了重要作用。

此前呼声最高的候选人、前美国财政部长劳伦斯•萨默斯上月出乎意料地宣布放弃竞选后,耶伦成为下任美联储主席的最有力竞争者。

现年67岁的耶伦一直是伯南克的得力助手和亲密盟友,也是美联储“近零利率”举措的关键推动者之一。耶伦获得总统提名后,还需经参议院同意,如果顺利出任,她将成为历史上掌舵美联储的首位女性,同时也是全球范围内执掌重要的国家中央银行的女性“第一人”。分析人士预计,耶伦出任美联储主席后极有可能延续伯南克现有的政策方向。

***旨在“安抚”金融市场

著名信用风险衡量和管理公司“穆迪分析”的首席经济师马克•赞迪认为,美政府选择在此时发布提名声明,是为了向金融市场传递一个政策稳定信号。由于国会两院分歧未能解决,美联邦政府自10月1日起部分关门,更为严重的是,如果国会未在10月17日前通过上调债务上限的法案,美国将面临债务违约风险。

“受上述因素的影响,投资者愈加紧张、市场情绪极其不安,未来数日这一情形还会继续恶化。”赞迪说,“因此,现在清楚地告诉外界谁将出任美联储下一任主席,应当至少对金融市场产生一定的积极边际影响。”

美国会参议院银行、住房和城市事务委员会(Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee)主席蒂姆•约翰森表示,他将和同事们尽快推进耶伦的任命得到确认,“她经验丰富,在这一点上首屈一指。我毫不怀疑她将成为一名出色的美联储主席”。

该委员会成员、民主党籍参议员查克•舒默将奥巴马提名耶伦称为“明智的选择”,他预言耶伦将得到广泛支持。

相关链接:珍妮特•耶伦简历

珍妮特•耶伦生于1946年8月13日,是一位美国犹太裔经济学家。她在1971至1976年曾任哈佛大学助理教授,1977年至1978年间担任美联储理事会经济学家。自1980年起,耶伦开始在加州大学伯克利分校哈斯商学院从事研究工作并教授宏观经济学,现为该学院名誉教授,并曾两次荣获该学院的杰出教学奖。

1994至1997年,耶伦由美国前总统比尔•克林顿提名,加入美联储理事会成为理事。1997至1999年,克林顿任命耶伦为美国白宫经济顾问委员会主席。2004年7月至2010年,耶伦任旧金山联邦储备银行行长兼执行总裁。2010年10月4日,她宣誓就任美国联邦储备委员会副主席,任期4年。华尔街普遍认为耶伦为“鸽派”,相较于通胀率,她更关注失业率,因此她不太可能主张美联储加息。

耶伦的丈夫为2001年诺贝尔经济学奖得主、加州大学伯克利分校名誉教授乔治•阿克洛夫。其子罗伯特•阿克洛夫现为英国华威大学助理教授。

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(译者 肉肉融 编辑 Yaning)

 

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