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In the First 100 Days, Janet Yellen Puts Her Own Imprint on the Fed

A relatively smooth start is no guarantee of calm waters ahead.

Morningstar Editors 09 May, 2014 | 12:09

Published with permission from Knowledge @ Wharton, Wharton's online business journal.

In mid-May, Janet Yellen will complete her first 100 days as chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. After taking the helm of the Fed on February 3--with her official swearing-in a month later--Yellen has navigated an almost seamless entry into the new job, continuing both the style and substance of her predecessor Ben Bernanke, say Wharton professors. The only blip: a remark at her first press conference about when the Fed might start raising rates, which sent markets spiraling.

Yet, a relatively smooth start is no guarantee of calm waters ahead. Bernanke, for instance, enjoyed a quiet first year only to be hit by the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Longer-term challenges may lie in wait for Yellen, too. Even as she and her colleagues tend to their immediate task at hand--carefully calibrating the Fed's response to the slow economic recovery--larger questions loom.

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