UK Only Article:
The $9 trillion sale
As Janet Yellen prepares to take over at the Fed, the omens are good
WHEN Ben Bernanke became chairman of the Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) eight years ago, unemployment had just slipped below 5%, growth had clocked in at 3.5% and inflation was stable. “The expansion in economic activity appears solid,” the Fed declared the day before he took office. Yet beneath the surface a crisis was brewing—and the worst slump since the 1930s.
For Janet Yellen (pictured), who was confirmed by the Senate on January 6th to succeed Mr Bernanke next month, the situation is the opposite. Unemployment is 7%, growth has struggled to get past 2% and inflation is too low. Yet beneath the surface are tantalising signs that, as Barack Obama put it: “2014 can be a breakthrough …