United States orders Wells Fargo to halt expansion over 'abuses'

Trump credited with success, but scandal not far behind

As perhaps her final act at the central bank, Yellen late Friday hit one of the largest U.S. banks, Wells Fargo & Co, with an unusual ban on growth that follows the San Francisco-based lender's pattern of consumer abuses and compliance lapses. Maximum employment is one of the two mandates Congress lays out for the Fed.

Yellen was appointed by Barack Obama as the first woman to lead the Fed. Yellen said. "And I think our overall judgment is that, if there were to be a decline in asset valuations, it would not damage unduly the core of our financial system". She will stay in Washington as a fellow at the Brookings Institution, the think tank where former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke also works.

If personal responsibility for prosperity belongs to anyone, it would be the cerebral economist who on Wednesday presided over the last Federal Reserve meeting of her four-year term as chair: Janet Yellen.

Yellen's main task was to start unwinding the central bank's emergency measures without drama.

So, what does that mean for interest rates in the relative short term?

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Under Ms Yellen's stewardship, the United States economy has seen its strongest six months of economic activity since 2014.

Ms. Yellen's predecessors typically anxious most about triggering debilitating bouts of inflation of the kind the United States suffered in the 1970s. Actually, the Fed's insulation from flailing, self-defeating politics is more likely a result of the way its leaders present themselves to the public. Against the Euro the Dollars has lost significant ground, with the exchange rate now sitting at over a 3 year high. Since then, the Fed has gradually raised rates four additional times, leaving its key rate in a still-low range of 1.25 per cent to 1.5 per cent - well below the level usually associated with a prolonged economic expansion and a tight job market.

Trump was highly critical of Yellen during the 2016 election but praised her after becoming president.

Yellen is leaving after one term as Fed chair. The main thing, though, is that Yellen's Fed has guided investors to a clear understanding of its approach while shielding monetary policy from political strife.

The current United States economic expansion is now approaching nine years and is the third longest in duration since 1945, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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