Yellen to step down from Fed board after Powell confirmation

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WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced Monday that she intends to step down from the Board of Governors after her successor is sworn in when her term expires early next year, ending any speculation that she may stay on.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Yellen said that it has been a “privilege and honor” to serve in the Federal Reserve System for over 30 years. She said that she was gratified that the financial system is “much stronger than it was a decade ago” in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

She also highlighted the Fed’s history as a source of institutional, nonpartisan strength, and predicted that her successor, Jerome Powell, will honor those traditions.

“The Federal Reserve has been and remains a strong institution, focused on carrying on its vital public mission with integrity, in a professional, non-partisan manner,” Yellen said. “I am confident that my successor as Chair, Jerome H. Powell, is deeply committed to that mission and I will do my utmost to ensure a smooth transition.”

Yellen has maintained since early this year that she would serve out her term as chair, which expires in February. President Trump was also reportedly considering reappointing her as Fed chair, but ultimately selected Yellen's fellow board member Powell earlier this month.

The Federal Reserve chair is selected from among the members of the Board of Governors, and members serve 14-year terms. It is theoretically possible, therefore, for a former chair to remain on the board after their term expires. Yellen’s announcement ends any speculation about whether Yellen might take this tack, though such a move was always a remote possibility. There has only been one Federal Reserve chair, Marriner Eccles, who remained on the board after their term expired.

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