Financial groups applaud Biden Treasury pick Yellen

getty: Janet Yellen

Business groups that represent financial services companies applauded President-elect Joe Biden for nominating former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to serve as Treasury secretary in his upcoming administration.

The American Bankers Association (ABA), which advocates in Washington for the banking industry, said they “welcome” Biden’s historic decision. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to lead the Treasury Department.

ABA noted that her role as Federal Reserve Chairwoman has set her up to deal with the struggling economy brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dr. Yellen understands the critical role banks play in the economy, and if confirmed, we look forward to working with her and the rest of the President-elect’s economic team to bolster the recovery and expand opportunities and prosperity for all Americans,” ABA CEO Rob Nichols said in a statement.

Consumer Bankers Association CEO Richard Hunt noted that Yellen’s views are well-known already to the financial services sector. 

“She is a tested, steady hand and will play a pivotal role as our nation works to recover from the economic effects of the COVID pandemic,” Hunt said. “Ms. Yellen’s views are well known and we appreciate the working relationship she had with CBA during her time at the Federal Reserve.” 

Yellen chaired the Fed board from 2014 to 2018 after serving as the central bank’s No. 2 from 2011 to 2014. 

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), also used the word “steady” to describe Yellen, touting her experience and expertise.

“As we continue to weather the COVID-19 global pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, it is critical to have a steady hand as the helm of the economy. The experience Dr. Yellen brings from having been Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and her broader academic expertise will be instrumental to guiding the economy through the crisis and into recovery,” CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said in a statement.

Business groups have worked closely with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the coronavirus pandemic, especially ahead of the CARES Act that passed in March and now while a new package has been stalled by negotiations for months.

Advocates for the manufacturing and retail industries were quick to voice their support for Yellen.

The National Association of Manufacturers said Yellen has “extraordinary expertise” and “sterling credentials” in a statement on Monday. NAM CEO Jay Timmons said that the association’s leadership met with Yellen twice when she was chair of the Federal Reserve.

“We were struck by, and appreciative of, how focused she was on American workers and the success of the manufacturing sector. Our conversations with her were refreshingly never one-way as she listened intently to the perspectives of America’s frontline job creators and asked probative questions on how Federal Reserve policies impacted our ability to invest, hire and strengthen our communities,” Timmons said. 

The National Retail Federation said Yellen’s nomination is affirmation that Biden is seeking “steady hands” to recover the economy.

“During her time as chair of the Federal Reserve, Ms. Yellen demonstrated her command and knowledge of financial markets, and she based decisions on a keen understanding of U.S. and global economies. In previous conversations with Ms. Yellen, we appreciated her insights and knowledge of the role retail plays in creating employment and generating economic activity,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

Tags Biden transition Coronavirus Financial services Janet Yellen Joe Biden Steven Mnuchin Treasury Yellen nomination

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