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Obama names Janet Yellen as new Federal Reserve chief to take over from Bernanke

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Obama names Janet Yellen as new Federal Reserve chief to take over from Bernanke

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President Barack Obama has announced his nomination for the new head of the Federal Reserve.

If confirmed by Congress, Janet Yellen will take over the running of the US central bank.

It will be the first time in the bank’s 100-year history that a woman has become its chairperson. The 67-year-old is a respected economist and will replace Ben Bernanke who steps down in January.

Her nomination was welcomed by investors and the so-called “Yellen effect” appeared to bring some stability to the financial markets

Obama said during a White House speech that “American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen.”

Her nomination comes as a political showdown in Washington is threatening the US with a possible economic crisis.

Yellen has been Bernanke’s vice-chair for the last two years. She has taught at Harvard University and the London School of Economics, as well as holding senior administrative positions in the US.