As Janet Yellen's tenure comes to an end, it's worth reflecting on what may be her greatest accomplishment as chair of the Federal Reserve: With calm and dispassionate competence, she kept the central bank at arm's length from a political system paralyzed by partisan strife.
Yellen, like Bernanke before her, came to the job as both top-flight macroeconomic scholar and experienced central banker.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the first woman to head the nation's central bank, is not taking any time off.
Emphasizing the need for improved director oversight of the firm, the Board has sent letters to each current Wells Fargo board member confirming that the firm's board of directors, during the period of compliance breakdowns, did not meet supervisory expectations.
Therefore the Fed generally influences the economy more directly than the president and Congress do; this was especially evident during Yellen's 2014-2018 term, when partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill prevented elected officials from launching major policies until the tax cut in December. She cited changes put in place since that time; Trump has been critical of that effort.
She and her colleagues enacted programs and policies that have brought the economy and financial system back from the brink.
"I made it clear that I would be willing to serve, so yes, I do feel a sense of disappointment" about not being renominated, Yellen said.
Yet after stabilizing the situation, Bernanke left Yellen a task that was in some ways just as hard, and probably more delicate, than the one he faced: how to nudge the recovery along until it was self-sustaining.
Trump was highly critical of Yellen during the 2016 election but praised her after becoming president. Nonetheless, he decided against reappointing the Democrat in favor of nominating Republican Powell.
In a statement, the Brookings Institution said Yellen's "record looks pretty darn good".
As the recession deepened and millions more Americans lost jobs, Ms. Yellen was an assertive voice backing up Mr. Bernanke in the path-breaking move by the Fed to buy enormous quantities of Treasury and mortgage bonds to try to drive down long-term borrowing rates to support the economy.
"I don't want to say too high". Yellen and her fellow policy makers said this week that they expect inflation to rise this year and to hit their target "over the medium term".