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Biden taps Janet Yellen to lead treasury

Press Trust of India Washington | Updated on November 24, 2020 Published on November 24, 2020

She would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as treasury secretary, a pivotal role in which she would help shape and direct his economic policies, according to a person familiar with the transition plans.

Yellen, who is widely admired in the financial world, would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in a line stretching back to Alexander Hamilton in 1789.

Her nomination was confirmed to the Associated Press by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s plans.

A path-breaking figure in the male-dominated economics field, Yellen, 74, was also the first woman to serve as Fed chair, from 2014 to 2018. She later became an adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign in an unusual departure for a former Fed leader that thrust her into the political arena.

The treasury post would add another new chapter to Yellen’s broad and varied career in financial policy-making.

Role as secretary

As secretary, she would represent the administration in global financial affairs and lead a sprawling department whose responsibilities range from the government’s finances and tax collections to global currency markets, bank regulation and the printing of money.

She would also be a key adviser to Biden and a public spokesperson for his economic agenda.

As treasury secretary, Yellen would face a shaky US economy, weakened by the pandemic recession and now in the grip of a surging viral epidemic that is intensifying pressure on businesses and individuals.

Concern is rising that the economy could slide into a double-dip recession this winter as states and cities reimpose restrictions on businesses and consumers stay at home to avoid contracting the disease.

Yellen would also have to take on the formidable task of helping negotiate economic policy with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who will remain Senate majority leader if his party wins at least one of two Senate runoff elections in Georgia in early January.

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Published on November 24, 2020
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