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Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz On His Friend And Former Student Janet Yellen06:50
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Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Bank, is pictured in April 2011. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Bank, is pictured in April 2011. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has been friends with Janet Yellen and her husband for 40 years. He says they are "an unusual kind of 'power couple,' powerful in the realm of ideas" who bring a unique, creative view to every issue they take up.

Yellen took Stiglitz's first class at Yale. In 40 years of teaching, Stiglitz says Yellen stands out.

President Obama has nominated Yellen to head the Federal Reserve Bank. She would be the first woman to lead the bank, breaking a 100-year glass ceiling and, some argue, becoming the most powerful woman in U.S. history.

Stiglitz tells Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti that Yellen "brings together a deep understanding of monetary economics, financial markets, and an understanding of labor markets, and right now we have problems in all those."

Stiglitz says she enjoys broad support, including from Wall Street, because "they have seen her intellect, her honesty, her transparency. She's somebody that everybody who's worked with her has found her great to work with."

Yellen may still face tough questions at her confirmation hearing. Republicans Senators Richard Shelby of Alabama and Bob Corker of Tennessee have criticized Yellen's views on monetary policy, saying she is not worried enough about the threat of inflation.

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This segment aired on October 10, 2013.

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