Friday, May 9, 2014

Yellen's Job Critique

This Is How The Media  Presents Yellen
Janet Yellen has been head of the Federal Reserve bank long enough that we no longer need to speculate as to her job performance. As we begin to critique her ability to perform we must remember perception is often just as important as reality. Another issue that comes into play is how you stack up or compare to the person who held the position previously, this often extends to style as much as it does to substance. When it comes to style Janet enters the game wanting. It is not an understatement to say she makes an underwhelming presence. In our shallow modern world a subtle but subconscious biases exist that tends to or can stereotype a person.

It is human nature to link certain traits when we take measure of a person. Sometimes this is based on age, height, weight, how a person wears their hair and many other factors concerning both appearance and things like speaking style. This is an area that Yellen has a problem or falls short. For example while a slow talker can drive many of us up a wall such a person often gives the perception of being more thoughtful and less rash, even the tone a person speaks in can be a problem. This is why so many successful people have worked with media coaches in an effort to remove annoying habits, take off the rough edges, and help them polish their public persona.

In short, Bernanke, whether you liked his policies or not came across as the all knowing uncle who had your best interest at heart and projected himself as understanding the forces playing out. This led people to believe he had a handle on things and would guide us through what lay ahead. When a picture appears in the media Bernanke tended to appear in a thoughtful state, reassured and even a bit arrogant but in the end competent. An air of confidence helps to keep people following a leader and as Winston Churchill said "If you're going through hell, keep going."  A recent article I read capsulized Yellen's message as "Don't worry be happy!"

It is beginning to appear the media has not extended such a generous public image to Ms. Yellen. Her general appearance falls short of what we have come to desire in a leader and her general demeanor is not awe inspiring. While this may seem unfair to her supporters little jabs at Yellen from many sources are creating the image of a less than inspirational force. I predict her lack of "fans" and strong supporters will undermine and erode Yellen's ability to carry out her role and garner cooperation in the future. Unlike, the pictures of a solid Ben Bernanke pictures in the media give the impression of Yellen being confrontational, clueless, or downright dowdy.

All of what I have written above sidesteps the issue of her policies but impacts her ability to verbalize and defend them. As expected it appears Janet Yellen has chosen to take us down the same the rabbit hole as Bernanke on a journey to prove that if we just continue doing what is not working, all will turn out fine. Caution, this path leads down, and down, and down, farther and deeper then most can ever imagine. If asked to critique "Old Yellar" now playing in theaters everywhere I would by way of the reasoning above have to give her the maximum two solid thumbs down.

  Footnote; This post dovetails with many of my recent writings, as always other related articles may be found in my blog archive. Thanks for reading, your comments are encouraged. I hope this critique of Yellen is not viewed as being to harsh or personal, but this is how I call it. Remember Yellen is playing with our money in a unforgiving arena.


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