Chart of the Day: For a Girl, Janet Yellen is Pretty Good With Numbers


Compare and contrast. Here is the Wall Street Journal editorial page today:

As an economist with long experience at the Fed, she doesn’t lack for professional credentials. But her cause has been taken up by the liberal diversity police as a gender issue because she’d be the first female Fed chairman….That led our friends at the New York Sun to wonder if they had somehow missed the creation of “the female dollar” given that they thought the Fed’s main task is to preserve the value of the currency.

Golly. According to the Journal’s editorial board, it would be little more than pure gender pandering if Yellen were somehow chosen to lead the Fed. Let’s see what the Journal’s actual reporters have to say about that:

Predicting the direction of the U.S. economy with precision is impossible. But the Fed must forecast growth, inflation and unemployment to guide its decisions on interest rates….The Wall Street Journal examined more than 700 predictions made between 2009 and 2012 in speeches and congressional testimony by 14 Fed policy makers—and scored the predictions on growth, jobs and inflation. The most accurate forecasts overall came from Ms. Yellen, now the Fed’s vice chair.

The Fed can’t do its job unless it has a clear view of what direction the economy is heading, and Yellen has the best track record on that score—better than the current chair, Ben Bernanke, as the chart below shows, and way better than the hard-money cranks the Journal seems to like so much. She’s also enormously well qualified on practically every other measure. The fact that the smarmy frat boys at the Sun and Journal editorial pages are in such a lather over the fact that breaking the glass ceiling at the Fed is also a point in her favor tells you everything you need to know about how they view the world.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate