With the rest of Washington focused on a health care speech from President Obama, Janet Yellen appeared before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday morning for a hearing on her nomination to be Federal Reserve chairman. Although Yellen did her best to avoid making any news that could affect markets, the hearing did provide a few hints about the odds of her nomination and also how she would run the Fed if confirmed.
1. Yellen played the part.
She appeared comfortable and confident handling questions from the committee's senators, including hostile ones from Republicans skeptical of the Fed's monetary stimulus programs and from Democrats pushing her on regulatory issues. She had to prove that she could handle such a situation without making any major misstatements that could cause confusion about the Fed's plans, and she appeared to do so.
2. She avoided any major missteps.