Janet Yellen: Fed must act ethically to inspire public confidence

By Daniel Uria  |  Nov. 7, 2017 at 6:16 PM
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Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, accepting an ethics award Tuesday, said ethical behavior from the Federal Reserve is critical to allowing the public to believe it is acting on its behalf.

She gave remarks during the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"The Federal Reserve's very effectiveness in setting monetary policy depends on the public's assured confidence that we act only in its interest," Yellen said. "We must act ethically, and we must demonstrate our ethical standards in ways that leave little room for doubt."

Trump nominated Jerome "Jay" Powell to take Yellen's place as head of the Federal Reserve on Thursday, saying he would be a "wise steward" who would provide the type of leadership that would sustain economic progress. Yellen's speech Tuesday was her first public appearance since Powell's nomination.

Yellen and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, received the award from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois honoring ethics in government.

The award is named after the late Sen. Paul Douglas of Illinois, who developed a formula with Amherst College mathematician Charles Cobb to identify how labor and capital combine to produce economic output.

"But, of course, Paul Douglas was much more than an economist," Yellen said. "One of Paul Douglas' most important achievements in public life was to promote ethics in government."

Yellen didn't discuss the economy or monetary policy during her remarks.

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