Janet Yellen will be running the right federal department for someone who has been raking in millions of dollars.
Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s selection for Secretary of the Treasury, made more than $7 million in speaking fees in 2019 and 2020 from financial firms and tech giants, the Associated Press reported. The information came from her nomination’s disclosure forms filed with the Office of Government Ethics.
That could be an issue in her Senate confirmation, just as Democrats criticized Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race for her Wall Street speaking fees. Those banks will be interested in the polices Yellen would be setting.
Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair from 2014 to 2018, took to the speech circuit with the likes of Citigroup ($992,000 for nine appearances), Goldman Sachs and Google after President Donald Trump did not renew her role for a second term. Last month, Yellen submitted a list of firms and banks for which she would seek ethics officials’ authorization to engage in personal and substantive matters with them.
Yellen plans to divest her interests in AT&T, ConocoPhillips, Dow, Pfizer and Raytheon. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Finance Committee’s ranking member, said in a statement that Yellen has been “fully transparent.”
A Biden transition spokesperson told AP on Friday that Yellen, since leaving her federal post, has “spoken at economic conferences, universities and to business groups and financial institutions about her experiences and her views on what we can do as a country to build a stronger economy and increase our competitiveness” and that “this is not someone who pulls punches when it comes to bad actors or bad behavior.”
If that is not the case, there will be a bunch of yellin’ about Yellen.