Yellen: Ethical Behavior Gives Public Confidence in Fed

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Tuesday that ethical behavior from the Fed allows the public to trust it is acting on its behalf.

"The Federal Reserve's very effectiveness in setting monetary policy depends on the public's assured confidence that we act only in its interest," she said. "We must act ethically, and we must demonstrate our ethical standards in ways that leave little room for doubt."

Ms. Yellen spoke at a ceremony honoring her and her predecessor at the central bank, Ben Bernanke. She did not discuss the economy or monetary policy in her remarks.

The award from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois honors ethics in government and is named after the late Sen. Paul Douglas of Illinois, who devoted his political career to rooting out government corruption. He was also an economist who taught at the University of Chicago and Amherst College in the 1920s and 1930s. His biggest contribution was perhaps a formula developed with Amherst College mathematician Charles Cobb identifying how labor and capital combine to produce economic output. Mr. Douglas died in 1976.

"But, of course, Paul Douglas was much more than an economist," Ms. Yellen said. "One of Paul Douglas's most important achievements in public life was to promote ethics in government."

Write to David Harrison at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2017 14:44 ET (19:44 GMT)