US facing historic crises again, says Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen. File   | Photo Credit: AP

The United States is facing economic crises again and it is essential to move with urgency, Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen said Tuesday, warning that inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn causing yet more devastation.

Yellen made the remark after US President-elect Joe Biden introduced his economic team at the Transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

I’ve spent my career trying to make sure people can work and achieve the dignity and self-worth that comes with it. Mr. President-elect, I know you’ve done the same. I saw that understanding during the last Great Recession and the Recovery Act that followed, Yellen said.

And now we are facing historic crises again, she said, adding the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout have caused much damage to American people and had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable among us .

Lost lives. Lost jobs. Small businesses struggling to stay alive or closed for good. So many people struggling to put food on the table and pay bills and rent, she said.

It’s an American tragedy, she added.

Also read | Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary to help economic recovery from COVID-19 crisis, say experts

And it’s essential that we move with urgency. Inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn causing yet more devastation. And we risk missing the obligation to address deeper structural problems. Inequality. Stagnant wages, especially for workers who lack a college education.

Biden said no one is better prepared to deal with this crisis than Yellen. She will be the first Treasury Secretary who was also Chair of the Federal Reserve, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, and Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. Janet is one of the most important economic thinkers of our time, he said.

She has spent her career focused on employment and the dignity of work. She understands what a job means to people and their communities. Respected across party lines and around the world, by Main Street and Wall Street. An educator, a mentor. Above all the daughter of a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood who never forgot where she came from, Biden said.

Her husband, George, is pretty good too. He is a Nobel Prize recipient, but he’s the one who married up. Janet will be the first woman to hold this office. We might have to ask Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote a musical about the first Treasury Secretary, Hamilton, to write another musical for the first woman Treasury Secretary, Yellen, said the President-elect Biden.

Yellen pledge to work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all Americans, he said.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:14:17 PM |

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