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Yellen – hawk, dove or owl?

Janet Yellen appointed Chair of the Federal Reserve

Heard on the Street:


“With the economy picking up, Yellen may taper faster than you think. She may turn out to be a hawk in dove’s clothing”.



“No way.  Janet’s a dove – a dove dressed in dove’s clothing”.

“You are both mistaken. She is an owl. But, as Hegel said, the owls of Minerva fly only at night. He meant that only when an era is complete can philosophy understand what has happened.  And then it is too late to change it. The same is true of economics. Until dusk falls, and it is time to take flight, she’ll play for time.”


“She will aim to please. She will have something for everybody, for all schools of thought: more tapering and zero policy rates. And she has a beautiful song. Listen, you agree with me, don’t you? We shall hear a lot of that song – after all, you  asked for better communications. Her  ‘other half’ has co-authored a book, you know, called ‘Animal Spirits’. They argue it’s all – the financial crisis, the money trap and so on – down to psychology: they argue that, and I quote, ‘psychological forces can imperil the wealth of nations’. It’s the only work I know of produced by two Nobel prize winners. And that’s what we need now – a revival of animal spirits.’

“Like a wise owl she knows that. It’s a mood thing. ”

“Then we can all cheer up?”

“Her role is to give you permission to do just that”.