FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen helped mark a milestone in U.S. history Thursday by holding a newly minted $5 bill signed for the first time by two women.
Yellen’s signature will appear alongside that of US Treasurer Lynn Malerba, the first Native American to hold the position.
While standing in Texas, Yellen joked about the poor handwriting of some of her male predecessors, saying: “I’ll admit, I spent quality time practicing my signature.”
“Two women on currency for the first time is truly remarkable,” said Malerba, who traveled with Yellen to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth to present her signature.
They ceremoniously signed fresh sheets of $1 and $5 bills and posed with samples to mark the history-making moment. The new banknotes will be put into circulation next year.
Yellen earned a reputation as a bold Federal Reserve chair and astute forecaster, and is now leading a long-running effort to use economic leverage to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine.enact tax policies to protect the planet from climate change and oversee major efforts to strengthen the beleaguered IRS.
This puts it at the center of domestic and global politics, inviting new levels of pressure and second-guessing from friends and foes. As the United States suffers from the highest inflation in 40 years, it faces this challenge. This summer and sowed fears of a future recession.
Even as Yellen watched the new bills being signed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Western currency facility, her remarks focused on the policy achievements of the Biden administration rather than her status as the first woman to serve as treasury secretary.
“Along with more than 30 countries, we have denied Russia the revenue and resources it needs to fight the war,” he said of the Ukraine conflict, which was instigated by Russian President Vladimir Putin last February.
As for the local economy, he said the new law, to recover from the pandemic and increase semiconductor production, has led the United States to “harness a wave of economic opportunities for the American people, including communities that are often overlooked.”
Speaking to reporters later, Yellen said she thinks the U.S. can avoid a recession.
“Obviously there are risks facing the economy, but I think we’re not in a wage spiral. Supply chain bottlenecks. clearly begins to lighten. It’s useful,” he said. “I believe we’re on the right track in terms of lowering inflation and a recession is not imminent.”
Now, two years into Joe Biden’s presidency, Yellen has put to rest rumors that she might be ready to leave the administration early and is bracing for more economic as well as political battles ahead.
In addition to managing the Treasury’s role in the Ukraine war, he faces the Herculean task of reviving the IRS, which received an $80 billion bailout.and anti-money laundering enforcement that requires documentation of beneficial owners tens of millions of US businesses in hopes of rooting out corruption around the world.
It plays an increasingly politicized role, where Congress and foreign governments are as important as financial markets.
His Treasury Department is trying to screw up the Russian economy with an oil price capHouse Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California questions the level of US support for Ukraine. The Treasury is also collecting tens of billions in tax breaks to address climate change, which has rankled some European allies and is controversial with Republicans. And wage growth in the latest US jobs report suggests the economy may have to endure more pain than expected to bring inflation back to the Fed’s 2% annual target.
Along the way, Yellen hasn’t shied away from controversy or speaking her mind on issues that many Americans view only through a cultural lens.
Senator Tim Scott, RSC, at a May congressional hearing Told Yellen was “harsh” for talking about the positive economic effects of abortion access for women, she responded, “That’s not harsh, that’s the truth.” He also challenged the idea that there are safe havens for hidden cash outside the US, arguing instead that the US has become the “best place” to hide ill-gotten gains.
Yellen caused some tension with the White House this year when she slightly deviated from Biden’s insistence on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package. did not contribute to inflation. Republican lawmakers said the amount was excessive and caused inflation, citing analyzes by leading economists such as Harvard University’s Larry Summers. Disruptions in global supply chains and rising food and energy costs following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine have also raised prices to alarming levels, raising the risk of a recession in the economy.
Yellen admitted on CNN in May that she was “wrong at the time about the path inflation was going to take.” Biden said he was aware of possible inflationary risks when crafting the aid package, but he told The Associated Press in an interview that “the idea that it would cause inflation is strange.”
Yellen’s predictions about other aspects of financial markets at the Treasury have been proven correct.
His warnings foresaw the recent chaos about the risks of an unregulated cryptocurrency market. Crypto markets we’ve seen at least two major crashes, dozens of scams, Ponzi schemes, and hundreds of billions of dollars made and evaporated overnight.
Yellen also used her platform as a top public official to warn that despite the advancements women have made in the workplace, the glass ceiling prevents many from reaching the top jobs.
The sole head of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Yellen is still criticized for being sometimes less dynamic and politically savvy than members of both political parties, and at other times too direct. .
Summers, President Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, told The Associated Press that Yellen has “continued a remarkable career in economic policy at the US Treasury Department. “No other Treasury Secretary has had a deeper commitment to social justice as a central goal of macro and fiscal policies.”
The praise comes as Summers criticized the Biden administration for the size of its coronavirus relief, saying the excesses were flooding the economy with money and driving up prices. He argued that the Fed should continue to raise rates to reduce inflation, which could push the U.S. and other countries into recession.
Economist Anusha Chari, who chairs the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, calls Yellen’s signing on to the US currency a “huge milestone,” but it also shows us how far we have to go.
The Treasury Department was created in 1789 and until Yellen was headed by only white men.
Boak reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.