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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Says She Was Wrong About Inflation

Janet Yellen

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted this week she was wrong and underestimated inflation, which continues to soar.

During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday, Yellen said that she failed to anticipate that inflation would become such a significant problem.

“I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take,” she said, referencing a statement she made at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Summit in May of last year.

“I don’t think there’s going to be an inflationary problem,” Janet Yellen said at the time. “But if there is, the Fed will be counted on to address it.”

Janet Yellen’s concession comes as Americans face record-high gas prices with a national average of $4.67 per gallon of unleaded gas as of Wednesday, according to AAA. That average has risen every day this week. Food prices have risen by 9.4% since April of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Janet Yellen defended her previous comments during the CNN interview, though, saying, “there have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices, and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly, that, I didn’t at the time, didn’t fully understand, but we recognize that now.”


About Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen, in full Janet Louise Yellen, (born August 13, 1946, Brooklyn, New York, United States), American economist, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (the Fed) (2014), U.S. Central Bank, the Fed (the Fed), and Secretary of the United States Treasury (2020-). Janet L. Yellen took office as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in February 2014, serving a four-year term ending on February 3, 2018. Janet L. Yellen served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors from 1994 until February 1997, and then left the Fed to become chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers until August 1999.    Show Source Texts

Janet Louise Yellen then taught for five years as a Harvard University economics professor before being hired as an economist by the Federal Reserve. In 1980, Janet Yellen joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where she became Eugene E. and Katherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and a Professor of Economics. Janet Louise Yellen later held positions as professors at several prestigious universities, including Harvard, London School of Economics.    Show Source Texts

She was a National Institute for Economic Research Associate, and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Council on International Policy. As a policy adviser, Janet Louise Yellen is adove and Keynesian economist, believes that economic markets need government regulation, and values low unemployment more than low inflation. Yellen is a committed economic dove (supporting low interest rates and expansionary monetary policies, valuing low unemployment over keeping inflation low). Janet Louise Yellen has co-authored two economic books, one with her husband, the other with former Fed Governor and Professor Alan Blinder.    Show Source Texts

In 1994, Janet Louise Yellen was appointed by former president Bill Clinton to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, becoming its chairman in 2013. On April 22, 1994, President Bill Clinton announced his intent to appoint Yellen to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, along with Alan Blinder, who was named Vice Chairman, the first Democratic appointee to the Board since 1980; in making this announcement, the president praised her for being one of the most distinguished economists of her generation at the intersection of macroeconomics and the labor market. On October 9, 2013, Yellen was formally nominated to succeed Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the first vice chair elevated to the position; in announcing it, President Barack Obama called her one of the nations most distinguished economists and a decision-maker, who is exceptionally qualified to serve in that position. Janet L. Yellen served as chairman and CEO of the San Francisco Fed Bank (2004-10), and vice chairman of the Board of Governors (2010-14) prior to her nomination to serve as chairman.    Show Source Texts

Prior to her work with the Treasury, Janet Yellen was a distinguished resident scholar at the Economic Research Project of the Brookings Institution. As a member of President Joe Bidens cabinet, Janet Louise Yellen was the first woman to lead both the United States Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Janet Yellen is the first person in American history to head the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department. Janet Yellen has served on the advisory boards of the Bloomberg New Economic Forum, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and Fixing the Debt Coalition (CRFB), and the steering committee of the Center for Equitable Growth Washington.    Show Source Texts

Key Takeaways Janet Louise Yellen was the first woman to be the United States Treasury secretary during President Joe Bidens tenure. In Janet Yellens multiple roles on policy in the last twenty years, she has written or spoken on nearly every major economic issue of the day, ranging from the Asian financial crisis to the burst of the housing bubble and ensuing financial meltdown, and provided clear explanations for quantitative easing and other Fed policy innovations. She taught at Harvard University from 1971-76, at the London School of Economics from 1978-80, and has been affiliated with the University of California, Berkeleys Haas School of Business since 1980, where she is now an emeritus professor.    Show Source Texts

In 2010, President Barack Obama named Janet Yellen as vice chair of the Federal Reserve, and then nominated her to replace Fed Chairman Benjamin Bernanke as the nations top central banker. Meanwhile, Janet Yellens Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, has emphasized this responsibility. The remarks came on the same day President Joe Biden met with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell, whose agency has begun combating inflation through rate increases.    Show Source Texts

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Jan 26, 2021 Janet Yellens ability to move the needle on climate change — heres how the former Fed chairman has the expertise and wide-ranging respect to move businesses to action on climate change — and set the stage for real, lasting progress. On November 30, 2020, President Joe Biden announced that he was nominating Yellen for the position of Secretary of the Treasury in his cabinet, praising her as one of the most important economic minds of our time, who has spent her career focused on jobs and dignity at work.    Show Source Texts

By Richie Malouf The Center Square
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