Laura Tyson Says Yellen Would Bring Continuity as Fed Leader

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen is an “ideal candidate” to lead the central bank partly because she would bring continuity as policy makers wind down their record monetary easing, said Laura Tyson, who has advised presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton on the economy.

“On experience and policy she has sterling credentials,” Tyson, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, said today on Bloomberg Television’s Street Smart with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson. Tyson said there are “good names out there,” including former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, a Princeton University economist.

Yellen and Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke “have worked very well together,” Tyson said. “They see the economy in very comparable ways. I think their macroeconomic policy positions are really quite comparable.”

Yellen, the No. 2 Fed official since 2010 and a former economics professor at Berkeley, would be the central bank’s first female leader in its 100-year history. That should be a factor as Obama weighs replacements for Bernanke, said Tyson, who in 1993 became the first female Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration. Yellen in 1997 became the second woman to lead the panel.

“Gender diversity should be a consideration in making decisions, but this is a decision about excellence and experience,” Tyson said. “It’s hard to imagine someone who would have a resume that prepared them most completely to be the next head of the Fed.”

Obama in a meeting with lawmakers today named Yellen as a potential nominee to lead the Fed, along with former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn. He told House Democrats he hadn’t decided whom to appoint.

Tyson, a professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, is a member of Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. She also served as Clinton’s National Economic Adviser.

Bernanke’s second term as Fed chairman ends in January. Obama said in a television interview last month that Bernanke has been at the Fed “longer than he wanted.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Alexandria Baca in Washington at abaca3@bloomberg.net; Jeff Kearns in Washington at jkearns3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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