Now that Janet Yellen has been named to lead the Federal Reserve the global financial markets should factor out any possibility that the Fed will diminish their Quantitative easing program anytime during her tenure. In fact, financial forecasts should assume that not only is a taper off the table, but that the QE program is now more likely to be perpetuated and expanded.
Unlike her predecessors, Janet Yellen has never had a youthful dalliance with hawkish monetary ideas. Before taking charge of the Fed both Alan Greenspan, and to a lesser extent Ben Bernanke, had advocated for the benefits of a strong currency and low inflation and had warned of the dangers of overly accommodative policy and unnecessary stimulus. (Both largely abandoned these ideals once they took the reins of power, but their urge to stimulate may have been restrained by a vestigial bias against the excesses of Keynesianism.) Janet Yellen, who has been on the liberal/dovish end of the monetary spectrum for her entire professional career, has no such baggage. As a result, we can expect her to never waver in her belief that stimulus is the answer to every economic question.
The Federal Reserve was originally charged with the single mandate of maintaining price stability. In recent decades that mission evolved into a dual mandate of seeking price stability and full employment. I believe that a Yellen-led Fed will return once again to a single mandate, but now it will focus only on employment. Based on her clear beliefs in the ability of dovish monetary policy to relive human suffering she will be inclined to dig in her heels into the ongoing QE program more than anyone else President Obama may have appointed. This is terrible news for the U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy.
For now at least the crisis in Washington has squelched any immediate discussion of a taper in the remaining months of 2013. Any predictions that a Yellen-led Fed will somehow show more resolve towards responsibility in 2014 or 2015 should be looked at as delusional.
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