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Obama nominates Janet Yellen as head of Federal Reserve


US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen speaks at a international monetary conference in Shanghai on June 3, 2013. President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Yellen to become the first female chairman of the Federal Reserve, replacing Ben Bernanke.



President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen, a former professor known for her dovish bent and communications skills, as the first ever chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Yellen, 67, has served as vice chair of the nation's central bank since 2010.

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The pick ends an unusually prolonged and public search to replace Ben Bernanke, whose term ends Jan. 31 after what will be an eight-year reign over the Fed.

Obama's first pick, former presidential adviser Lawrence H. Summers, dropped out of the running on Sept. 15 in the face of opposition from Democratic senators.

Yellen's four-year appointment requires confirmation by the Democratic-led Senate, which can be a tricky process.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer told The New York Times he believes she "stands a very good chance of being confirmed. I think she will have bipartisan support."

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Market analysts believed Wall Street would react positively to the nomination, especially given Yellen's current Fed role and her alignment with Bernanke's economic policy.

"Markets will be comfortable with a familiar face," Michael Feroli, chief US economist at JPMorgan Chase, told the Washington Post.

But some Republicans remained skeptical.

"I voted against Vice Chairman Yellen's original nomination to the Fed in 2010 because of her dovish views on monetary policy," Republican Sen. Bob Corker told the Times. "We will closely examine her record since that time, but I am not aware of anything that demonstrates her views have changed."

A former professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Yellen was previously president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, a White House adviser and a Fed governor under the Clinton administration.