The enigma that is the new Fed chairwoman, Janet Yellen

By George Will

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

According to Abrams, a University of Delaware economics professor, Oval Office tapes and monetary data suggest that Nixon "demanded and Arthur Burns supplied an expansionary monetary policy and a growing economy in the run-up to the 1972 election." Nixon carried 49 states.

There is no reason to doubt Yellen's intellectual integrity; there is reason to wonder where she thinks the autonomous Fed now fits in the government. The Fed seems to be evolving into a central economic planner with a roving commission to right social wrongs such as unemployment. About this Yellen talks with a humane passion that speaks well of her but is more suited to a political official.

There is considerable congruence between Yellen's economic theories and the policy preferences of the Democratic liberals who secured her nomination. They probably favor quantitative easing forever, and consider themselves her constituents. Is she prepared to disappoint them?

George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

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