What does a Fed chair do all day? There's no way of knowing the minute-by-minute goings-on in the office of Janet Yellen, but the Fed does give us a glimpse into her daily calendar. Released monthly on a six-week delay, the schedule shows J-Yell doing the kind of big important stuff one would imagine of such a big important position, like meeting with bank CEOs and convening groups of regulators and the like.
But because we all live in the dumbest of all possible worlds now, on July 17 Yellen spent her morning doing something out of the ordinary: breakfasting with fashion executive and daughter-slash-political-adviser to the president of the United States of America, Ivanka Trump.
The payoff? Apparently, this:
Eight days after their one-hour meeting in a private dining room at the Fed, the president told the Wall Street Journal that Yellen was “in the running, absolutely,” for a second term as chair after her current four-year stint expires in February.
Who knows what the circumstances of the meeting were. There's a chance that Yellen requested it, which would certainly be an indication that yes, she does want to remain Fed chair when her term expires next year. More likely, the White House requested the meeting and Yellen was gracious enough to take it.
Whatever the case, it's clear enough from the president's reaction – as well as Steve Mnuchin's recent patronizing compliments – that the Yellen and Ivanka hit it off well enough to keep Yellen off Trump's shit list. But having Ivanka champion her in the White House doesn't really give Yellen much of a leg up over her esteemedcompetition. Ivanka's past hobbyhorses have included staying in the Paris climate accord, not banning trans people from the military and making her dad apologize for “grab her by the pussy.” Her influence over her father is uncertain.
The more interesting question is what Janet Yellen and Ivanka Trump actually talked about. Some possibilities:
- Whether Bachelor in Paradise properly addressed the allegations of sexual misconduct on set
- What it's like to be the most powerful Jewish woman in America
- How to get what you want from “daddy”
- Ivanka's case for patience in unwinding the balance sheet given the secular shift in the neutral rate of interest