Yellen signals new emphasis on Fed policing role

Yellen signals new emphasis on Fed policing role

Move over inflation and job growth.

The next Federal Reserve chief appears set to direct the central bank’s might at ensuring financial stability and stern banking oversight with the same vigor it currently applies to its traditional mandates of fostering price stability and maximum employment.

The question of monitoring and stabilizing Wall Street was a dominant issue during Fed chair-designate Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing before a Senate committee on Thursday. Yellen, widely expected to win Senate backing for the job, said financial regulation should be on par with monetary policymaking on the Fed’s list of priorities.

The central bank’s current vice chair, Yellen appeared willing to draw fellow governors on the powerful Fed Board into more decisions on stabilizing the still-vulnerable financial system.

In a telling exchange with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Yellen said it was a “worthwhile idea” to consider reinstating regular board meetings to tackle financial supervision, as was the case at the central bank in the 1990s.

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