Yellen is the one
Janet Yellen is a historic choice to head the Federal Reserve not only because she would be the first woman in that role. She also would be, perhaps, the most highly qualified chairperson in the institution's history - particularly from the perspective of average Americans.
Ms. Yellen, 67, has been the Fed vice-chairwoman since 2010 and, in that position, has been an ardent advocate of using the Fed's power to help bring down unemployment.
Her consistent support of low interest rates and the Fed's monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds to help stimulate economic and job growth.
Critics of that policy contend it ultimately will drive high inflation, which would be contrary to the Fed's mission, and many of them believe that Ms. Yellen is not sufficiently wary of inflation.
But Ms. Yellen's position better reflects facts on the ground. There is little doubt that the Fed policy she has supported has been vital in helping to support a weak recovery from the Great Recession.
The Fed program has helped drive stock markets to record levels, but Ms. Yellen, unlike most of her predecessors, is not a creature of Wall Street. She was a member of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco prior to becoming Fed vice chairwoman, and was a highly accomplished economics professor before that. According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal, Yellen had the highest accuracy rate for economic forecasts among her fellow Fed governors. For example, she predicted the Great Recession when most of her colleagues believed that the crisis resulting from the subprime mortgage bubble had passed.
The Senate should confirm Ms. Yellen, as it did for her vice-chairman nomination after a 17-6 positive vote by the Banking Committee.