Friday, October 11, 2013

Janet Yellen Urged Glass-Steagall Repeal And Social Security Cuts, Supported NAFTA

Zach Carter
Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Following President Barack Obama's failed effort to install his former economic adviser Larry Summers as Federal Reserve chairman, Janet Yellen, the central bank's vice chair, has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Ben Bernanke in the Fed's top spot. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and dozens of other Democrats in both the House and Senate have endorsed Yellen to be the next Fed Chair.

While supporting Yellen has become a cause célèbre for progressives opposed to Summers' regulatory hostilities, Yellen supported a host of economic policies during the Clinton era that have since become broadly unpopular. She backed the repeal of the landmark Glass-Steagall bank reform and she supported the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement. She also pressured the government to develop a new statistical metric intended to lower payments to senior citizens on Social Security.

These policies all enjoyed substantial support among economists during the 1990s, although many of those who endorsed them at the time have since recanted or criticized their implementation.

Yellen's reputation as a more consumer-friendly economist than Summers rests largely on her tenure as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve during the Bush years, when she identified the emerging housing bubble and called for deploying stronger regulation to limit its damage.

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