FORTUNE -- As in most job interviews, Janet Yellen on Thursday didn't say anything all that controversial in her appearance before the Senate Banking Committee. Her confirmation hearings to be the next Fed chair were by-the-book and informative, but ultimately unsurprising.
Senators got a better sense of what kind of monetary leader she will be -- specifically, her views on the central bank's bond-buying program to stimulate the economy. It's a question on the minds of most investors whenever policymakers at the Fed meet. However, the senators seemed to be more interested in questions about how Yellen would regulate America's biggest banks.
It's easy to see why. The public already knows more about how Yellen views monetary policy than her take on financial regulation. Yellen is known to focus more on jobs than most central bank policymakers, and she has consistently supported the Fed's unprecedented stimulus program, having supported three rounds of bond buying under current Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.
At Thursday's confirmation hearing, Yellen did not say when the central bank will scale down its $85 billion a month asset buying program, known as quantitative easing (or QE). However, she did say that while the job market has improved, it still has plenty of problems, pointing to the millions that have remained jobless for six months or longer. The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 7.3%, but Yellen acknowledged that by broader measures, and if the long-term unemployed were counted, the rate is close to around 10%.
"It's important not to remove support especially when the recovery is fragile," said Yellen, who later reminded that the Fed can't continue QE forever.
Investors may not have gotten a clear answer on QE, but anyone who takes issue that America's banks are far too big probably got what they wanted to hear.
"Addressing too big to fail has to be among the most important goals of the post crisis period," Yellen said.
Since the financial crisis, new regulations under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law have sought to limit risky trading and such to shield the economy from another financial crisis. But as Stephen Gandel of Fortune has pointed out, at least one of the widely recognized causes of the financial crisis is still around: Banks are too big; they are bigger than they were five years ago right before the crisis.
Yellen said "we are making progress" on Dodd Frank, but added: "I would say one of our top priorities now is ramping up our monitoring of the financial system."
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The Honest Company raises $25 million from VCs.
FORTUNE -- The Honest Company today announced that it has raised $25 million in new venture capital funding, led by existing investor Institutional Venture Partners. This is the Los Angeles-based maker of branded all-natural/non-toxic diapers and other baby and kids products, whose co-founders include actress Jessica Alba and ShoeDazzle/LegalZoom founder Brian Lee.
Other investors include General Catalyst Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and ICONIQ Capital.
We MOREDan Primack - Nov 11, 2013 2:29 PM ET
Within the next decade, women are expected to control half of the private wealth in the U.S., but conferences for money managers are still dominated by men.
By Susan Askew
FORTUNE -- I am one of the 32% -- the 32% of the Wall Street Journal readers that are women. For many years, I have faithfully read the financial news and, not so faithfully, looked at the ads. But sometimes an oversized MOREOct 18, 2013 2:59 PM ET
The Commerce Secretary is happy the government is back open for business but admits there is a lot of work to do.
By Heather Muse
FORTUNE -- When Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker first took the job that had been vacant for more than a year, she put a sign in her office that said "Open for business." Over the course of the government shutdown, her workers turned that sign over. Today MOREOct 17, 2013 10:20 AM ET
Fortune's Carol Loomis joined her old friend Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, on stage at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit.
An unedited transcript follows:
CAROL LOOMIS: Good morning, all. At some point we will not break into song. I'm not quite up to Gwen's level. But this is an anniversary for us, Warren. It's the fifth anniversary of your first appearing here. The first time that he was here in 2008 MOREOct 16, 2013 9:55 PM ET
Erdoes and other fund managers sound off on how to manage money in the shadow of a debt crisis.
By Anne VanderMey, reporter
FORTUNE -- With a last-minute debt deal winding its way through the legislature, the worst of the uncertainty that has roiled global markets in recent weeks may be past. But the upheaval has already undermined confidence in the U.S., even as the economy shows signs of life. Under MOREOct 16, 2013 2:59 PM ET
Laura Tyson, former advisor to President Obama, is "embarrassed" by the brinkmanship while Susan Schwab, who served under President George W. Bush, is less alarmist.
By Tory Newmyer, writer
FORTUNE -- Economic experts gathering in Washington, D.C., to puzzle over where the global recovery is headed understandably circled back to its gravest immediate threat. After all, the menace of a U.S. debt default has seemed to be rumbling just outside and MOREOct 16, 2013 2:09 PM ET
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, spoke with Fortune's Nina Easton at the Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, DC.
An unedited transcript follows:
ANDY SERWER: And now it is my great pleasure to introduce the Honorable Christine Lagarde, Chairman of the IMF.
Just a word about her first, though. She, obviously, is a singular human being. An incredible intellect, super accomplished, fascinating person. There are just so many facets of Christine. MOREOct 16, 2013 11:59 AM ET
Top finance executives debate about what the U.S. should do about slowing emerging markets.
By Tory Newmyer, writer
FORTUNE -- There's no debating this: Buzzy emerging markets have lost some of their zip. The question for both American government and business is why -- and what to do about it.
The explanations unsurprisingly are manifold. In a panel discussion at Fortune's Most Powerful Women's summit (subtitled "The Hype is Over -- Now MOREOct 16, 2013 11:28 AM ET
At Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, Warren Buffett continued to warn against a debt default but remained positive on the economy.
FORTUNE -- As Congress scrambles to lift the nation's borrowing limit and avoid the risks of defaulting on its debt, billionaire investor Warren Buffett joined critics of the debt ceiling, calling the 1930s law originally intended to give the government more flexibility to borrow funds "a weapon of mass destruction."
"It MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Oct 16, 2013 10:57 AM ET
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