After spending a good portion of his campaign bashing Fed Chair Janet Yellen, President-elect Donald Trump is about to find out he will need her if he wants to implement key parts of his ambitious domestic spending agenda.
In her own way, Yellen already has signed on to a key aspect of Trump's plan. During a closely watched speech she delivered in October — nearly a month before Trump won the election — the central bank chief entertained the idea of allowing a "high-pressure economy" to come into existence before tightening the monetary screws.
While the details aren't clear, Yellen said that would entail "robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market" that she said would combat the low-growth environment that has plagued the U.S. since the Great Recession ended.
On the other side of the table is Trump, who is calling for $1 trillion in improvements to the nation's battered highways, public buildings, utilities and other infrastructure. Spending that kind of money likely will require borrowing, which in turn needs the kind of low interest rates the Fed can manage through monetary policy.
During the campaign, Trump told CNBC that Yellen should be "ashamed" of the way she has led policy during a term that began in 2014. Yellen has spoken publicly once since the election, at a congressional hearing, but she gave little indication of how she feels about the incoming administration.
Once he takes office, Trump may end up singing a different tune from his sharp campaign-trail criticism.