Friday, August 2, 2013

Janet Yellen and the female dollar

Janet Yellen, courtesy of

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman joins forces with Senator Elizabeth Warren in supporting Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Fed’s board of governors, to head the Federal Reserve. That’s right. Neither Krugman, nor Warren, is going along with “the Female Dollar” folks out there who would likely support Larry Summers; Summers’ claim to fame includes charges of sexism while serving as president of Harvard.

In his recent NY Times op ed, Krugman identifies two sexist campaigns seeking to undermine Yellen. Krugman sets up his forceful argument on Yellen’s behalf in his opening paragraph:

Can a woman effectively run the Federal Reserve? That shouldn’t even be a question. And Janet Yellen, the vice chairwoman of the Fed’s Board of Governors, isn’t just up to the job; by any objective standard, she’s the best-qualified person in America to take over when Ben Bernanke steps down as chairman.

Let’s start with the more extreme, open campaign. Last week, The New York Sun published an editorial attacking Ms. Yellen titled “The Female Dollar.” The editorial took it for granted that the Fed has been following disastrously inflationary monetary policies for years, even though actual inflation is at a 50-year low. And it warned that things would get even worse if the dollar were to become merely “gender-backed.” I am not making this up.

True, The Sun is a marginal publication, with strong gold-bug tendencies, and nobody would pay much attention if the rest of the right had ignored or distanced itself from that editorial. In fact, however, The Wall Street Journal immediately followed up with its own editorial along the same lines, in the course of which it approvingly quoted The Sun piece, female dollar and all.

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