President Elect Joe Biden has tapped Janet Yellin to become America’s first woman Treasury Secretary. The 74 year old career economist and Brooklyn native from a Polish Jewish family is no stranger to such firsts as she only recently completed her term as the first woman Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Her appointment breaks the Republican tradition of giving the position to people from Wall Street, such as the current Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Democrats have generally appointed people with more government experience such as President Obama’s first Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The news was met with a positive reaction on Wall Street where stocks went up after it was revealed. CNBC cited sources that said they were relieved by the news because they believe that Janet Yellin will concentrate more on repairing the economy which has been devastated by the Corona Virus rather than promoting a liberal economic agenda.
Barry Knapp, director research for Ironsides Macroeconomics, told CNBC, “To me it shows Biden is taking stuff pretty seriously and definitely not pandering to the left. She’s a very serious economic thinker, and they have some very serious problems to deal with.”
Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “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.”
Eric Stein, chief investment officer for fixed income at Eaton Vance, told Financial Times, “I think she will do her best within the legal framework to reinstate as much of those programs as she can. Given Yellen’s background at the Fed, her views will be very much in line with the Fed and she will want the Fed to be able to provide as much credit to various sectors of the economy as possible.”
Diane Swonk, chief economist at auditing firm Grant Thornton, told AP, “She is extraordinarily talented. She is the right person at this challenging time. She has worked every crisis.”