In two key respects, Thursday's confirmation hearing of Federal Reserve chairman-designate Janet Yellen before the Senate Banking Committee was perfectly unsurprising.
First, through her temperate demeanor and command of the many issues facing the central bank, Yellen lived up to her billing as a first-rate academic economist with the personal qualities necessary to lead the Fed's sometimes contentious board.
Second, to the extent she expressed any policy views, they were broadly consistent with her reputation as what you might call an evidence-based monetary dove. She conceded that the Fed's controversial asset-purchasing strategy, known as quantitative easing, can't go on forever. But citing persistent high unemployment, she added that "supporting the recovery today is the surest path to returning to a more normal approach to monetary policy" in the long run. "I believe it could be costly to withdraw accommodation or to fail to provide adequate accommodation."