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Biden to Pick Yellen as Treasury Secretary: WSJ Report

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President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that he plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, according to the Wall Street Journal, a move that could help make her the first female Treasury Secretary.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard and former Fed Vice Chair Roger Ferguson were also being eyed for the job. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., had also been said to be in the running for the post.

Yellen, 74, served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, and as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014.

Greg Valliere, chief U.S. strategist for AGF Investments, said recently that Warren was likely out as a candidate for Treasury secretary.

“I think they don’t want to give up a seat in Massachusetts; I think there would be concern that [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell might not go along with her; he might be able to block her nomination,” Valliere explained.

Reactions to Yellen News

Warren tweeted Monday afternoon: “Janet Yellen would be an outstanding choice for Treasury Secretary. She is smart, tough, and principled. As one of the most successful Fed Chairs ever, she has stood up to Wall Street banks, including holding Wells Fargo accountable for cheating working families.”

But others, such as Fed critic and author Danielle DiMartino-Booth of Quill Intelligence were not pleased.

“BOTH WASHINGTON & HAMILTON SPINNING IN THEIR GRAVES AS QUEEN OF PRINTING PRESS HANDED KEYS TO KINGDOM,”  DiMartino-Booth tweeted, noting that President George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton, who insisted on dollar-for-dollar repayment of war debt to strengthen U.S. credit standing. 

Brainard’s Fate

Brainard, according to Bloomberg, has been told by allies of Biden that she should stay at the central bank, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Brainard is the only Democrat on a Fed board filled mostly by President Donald Trump’s appointments, and she may be a leading candidate for Fed chair when Jerome Powell’s term expires in 2022,” Bloomberg reported.

Brainard “emerged as a top contender to become the first female Treasury secretary before the election, but in recent weeks liberal figures in the Democratic party have pushed Biden to choose former Fed chair Janet Yellen for the post,” Bloomberg said.