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Senate Confirms Yellen as First Woman to Lead Federal Reserve

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Janet L. Yellen as the fifteenth Federal Reserve chair, and THE first woman to lead the 100-year-old central bank. Yellen was confirmed by a majority vote, 56 for and 26 against. 

Yellen will assume the position on Feb. 1, just three days after current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke adjourns his final Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Yellen, who has been vice-chair of the Fed since 2010 and president of the San Francisco Fed since 2004, ascends to what many consider one of the world's most powerful unelected leadership positions at a time when the central bank begins to scale back its unprecedented period of economic stimulus.

While Bernanke is often credited with guiding Fed policy through the Great Recession and the U.S. economy's subsequent recovery, economists and analysts repeatedly have noted Yellen's role as a consensus builder for many of Bernanke's policy ideas.

Though she is seen as a dovish central banker -- one who favors looser monetary policy -- it's likely that Yellen will oversee the Fed's exit from its monetary stimulus program and an increase in the federal funds rate for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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