She then had the job of picking the lucky participants in the audience who got to ask questions. At one point, she called on Donald Kohn, her predecessor as vice chairman at the Federal Reserve and one of three names President Barack Obama has provided as the leading candidates for the Fed chairman's job. Yellen and Summers are the other two.
Yellen didn't offer any substantive comments during her moderating stint, but there was one brief moment she had to have enjoyed.
Acknowledging her introduction, Princeton economics professor Jean-Pierre Landau said, "Thank you very much, Madam Chairman."
Ah. Music to her ears.___ At the opening dinner Thursday night, Esther George, who as head of the Kansas City regional Fed bank is the conference host, had some fun with the topic of Bernanke's absence. "Sometimes," George said in her welcoming remarks, "those who regularly attend are not able to make it. We make it a practice never to talk about those who turn us down." "Despite my personal disappointment," she went on, she'd be happy to welcome back Ken Rogoff for future conferences. Her mention of Rogoff, a well-known Harvard economist, rather than Bernanke, drew laughter from the audience. Call it economists' humor.