New Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen got exactly what she wanted: a quiet, non-controversial hearing. Stocks rose modestly, interest rates were flat to down.
It wasn't that the questioning was irrelevant. All the right issues were addressed: asset bubbles, when tapering might begin ("this program cannot continue forever"), Dodd-Frank and bank regulation (it will make a "very meaningful difference"), and the Fed's communication outreach program ("we certainly want to diminish volatility").
It was just so...tame. No one raised their voice, no one tried to lead Yellen into some dark alleyway where she would have to admit that yes, Senator, you sure are right: our policies really did benefit the rich, and we haven't helped anybody else.
There was a brief moment of tension when Senator Corker tried to get her to admit that the Fed was in danger of becoming a prisoner of the market. But she parried with a bland response...we can't be prisoners of the market, we have to take into account market reactions...and instead of parrying back Senator Corker wound up his questioning by thanking her effusively: