The world’s most powerful woman

Last year many called German Chancellor Angela Merkle the world’s most powerful or influential woman, but starting Feb. 1, there may be someone else taking that spot as Janet Yellen takes the helm of the Federal Reserve. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.
“What we’re looking at here … is … influence — and primarily in terms whether that person is the head of a powerful company or powerful government, in the case of Angela Merkle, or perhaps a powerful section or agency in a government. And … I think the consensus is changing. There is going to be in the new Number One female in the world, and it will be Janet Yellen because Feb. 1, she will take over the top spot at the Federal Reserve.

“The Federal Reserve is considered to be probably the most influential agency in terms of economic influence in the world because it is here in the U.S., and the U.S., of course, is still the largest and most dominant economy.

“She’s going to make decisions that are going to be impacting the U.S. economy — really impacting every person in the U.S. economy — questions and decisions about the level of interest rates that can affect how much people earn when they invest and can affect how much people have to pay when they borrow.

“She’s going to have to make decisions about the stimulus the Federal Reserve has provided. For example, the Federal Reserve has been the major buyer of mortgages for several years. It’s thought that the Federal Reserve will want to back off from that, so that could have some impact on the mortgage market and housing market and housing construction.

“So she faces several big decisions, but given that and given the level of influence that agency …, the Federal Reserve, has, these decisions, I think, are indeed going to be made by the new most powerful woman in the world.”

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