Yellen Ready to Step Down Once Powell Takes Office

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will step down from its Board of Governors once her successor is sworn into office, Bloomberg reports. President Donald Trump has nominated Jerome Powell to replace Yellen, whose term ends in February.

“As I prepare to leave the Board, I am gratified that the financial system is much stronger than a decade ago, better able to withstand future bouts of instability and continue supporting the economic aspirations of American families and businesses,” Yellen, the first woman to lead the U.S. central bank, wrote Monday in her letter of resignation to Trump.

Yellen’s decision to leave will give Trump an additional fourth spot to fill on the Fed’s seven-person Board of Governors in Washington, including for a vice chairman. The White House has said that Trump was focused on making a selection for that position this year, Bloomberg adds.

Yellen has presided over almost four straight years of steady economic growth, sluggish inflation and a jobless rate that has fallen even as she directed the gradual exit from crisis-era policies. During her term, the Fed halted a controversial bond-buying campaign, lifted interest rates off zero, and began to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

“Sustaining this progress will require continued monitoring of, and decisive responses to, newly emerging threats to financial and economic stability,” Yellen wrote. The 71-year old could have stayed on as a governor even after stepping down as the institution’s leader, because her term as governor does not end until January 31, 2024, though such a decision would have been unexpected.

“I am confident that my successor as chair, Jerome Powell, is deeply committed to that mission and I will do my utmost to ensure a smooth transition.” Yellen noted.

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