Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Global Economics

Janet Yellen Conjures Ghosts of Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio

Yellen speaking during New York University's commencement ceremonies at Yankee Stadium

Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Yellen speaking during New York University's commencement ceremonies at Yankee Stadium

Janet Yellen, born and raised in Brooklyn, is enough of a New Yorker to know that you can’t give a speech in Yankee Stadium without a nod to Yankee lore. In a commencement address on Wednesday, she told New York University graduates: “You won’t succeed all the time. Even Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio failed most of the time when they stepped to the plate.”

The baseball metaphor was doubly appropriate because among her fellow recipients of honorary doctorates was retired Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera, baseball’s all-time leader in games saved.

There was no mention of monetary policy in Yellen’s address, although it may have broken ground as the first by a Fed chair to mention the California sea slug. She said NYU’s Eric Kandel persisted in using the slug to study human memory, even though “his colleagues all but ridiculed him for the idea,” and wound up winning a Nobel Prize.

NYU must have struggled a bit to choose the right honorary doctorate for each of its feted guests. Yellen got her doctorate in commercial science, while Rivera got his in humane letters. The other honors were more natural fits. Singer Aretha Franklin’s honorary doctorate is in fine arts, while Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and attorney Martin Edelman got theirs in law.

Coy is Bloomberg Businessweek's economics editor. His Twitter handle is @petercoy.

blog comments powered by Disqus