Woman of firsts: Janet Yellen is Joe Biden's pick for US Treasury chief
Janet Yellen was the US Federal Reserve chair in former president Barack Obama's administration
During her tenure, she was inclined towards low interest rates to support employment
As the US Treasury chief, she will be tasked with steering USA's coronavirus battered economy
Janet Yellen, who was the US Federal Reserve chair in former president Barack Obama's administration, is President-elect Joe Biden's pick to head the US Treasury, AFP reported quoting sources. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman in the job.
"Yellen will be the next treasury secretary" AFP reported quoting a source. Her nomination could be formally announced as early as Tuesday.
Following her nomination by Obama in 2013, Yellen was the first woman to head the US central bank.
An economics professor, Yellen was seen as a "dove" during her tenure as the Fed chief, due to her inclination towards low-interest rates to support employment.
Following her confirmation, she would succeed Steven Mnuchin and would be tasked with steering USA's coronavirus-battered economy.
She is likely to be faced with breaking a months-long deadlock in Congress over passing a new stimulus spending bill for the US economy.
In a 2004 paper, she co-authored with her Nobel laureate husband George Akerlof, they argued for the importance of economic stabilizers during downturns, Reuters reported. These included measures like cash for the unemployed. This particular paper could provide an important insight into her policy decisions after assuming the role.
The United States is home to the world's largest COVID-19 outbreak, and as the economy convulsed Congress rallied in March to pass the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that expanded unemployment payments, supported small businesses and allocated money to hard-hit airlines to maintain their staff.
But those provisions expired over the summer, leading to 32,000 furloughs among major airlines alone and raising fears of a renewed economic slump.
Congress has been deadlocked on passing more aid, with Democrats supporting another $2.2 trillion measure but Republicans insisting on a series of smaller bills.
Currently, a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Yellen has signaled her support for more spending, AFP reported.
"Fiscal policy has a very important role to play now," she said in an appearance this month. "I believe it's essential."
She has previously served as chair of former president Bill Clinton's council of economic advisors, the second woman to hold the job.
Biden, who served as vice president under Obama and defeated Trump in the November 3 election, has been moving quickly to fill key slots in his incoming cabinet.
Earlier Monday, he announced a slew of appointments to key national security roles including former Obama official Antony Blinken as secretary of state.
The Dow closed up 1.1 percent following news of Yellen's nomination as well as another upbeat announcement concerning a Covid-19 vaccine.