WASHINGTON -- The White House says President Barack Obama will nominate Federal Reserve vice chair Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the nation's central bank.
Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Fed. She would take over at a pivotal time but would likely continue steering Fed policy in the same direction as Bernanke.
Bernanke's term ends in January, completing an extraordinary eight-year tenure in which he helped pull the U.S. economy out of the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930s.
Under Bernanke's leadership, the Fed created extraordinary programs after the financial crisis erupted in 2008.
It lent money to banks after credit markets froze, cut its key short-term interest rate to near zero and bought trillions in bonds to lower long-term borrowing rates.