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US Senate Confirms Janet Yellen to Lead the Central Bank

From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

The face of America's central bank is changing. The Senate recently confirmed Janet Yellen to lead the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She will be the first woman to head the nation's central bank in its 100-year history. Mr. Yellen is replacing Ben Bernanke. She served as vice chair at the Federal Reserve during his second term as chairman.

President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen in October. He said then she would be a fierce champion for the American people. He also said she understands that the goal of financial policy is to improve the lives and jobs of workers and their families. Economists are predicting that Janet Yellen will continue many of Ben Bernanke's policies. Both she and Mr. Bernanke have called for a measured reduction in the Federal Reserve's efforts to keep interest rates low. The Fed has bought $85 billion in government securities in an effort to push money into the economy.

During confirmation hearings, Senator Sherroed Brown of Ohio praised Ms. Yellen's ability to identify problems in the financial system. He also said she was not afraid to act to end abuses against American consumers and workers. But, other senators criticized her support of what they called "easy money" policies. They said these programs will cause inflation.

Janet Yellen has repeatedly expresses concern over labor issues, including unemployment. The jobless rate has remained will above historical averages since the end of the recession. Economists are predicting that the new Fed chair will keep the central bank's short-term rates close to zero.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.