Senate Confirms Janet Yellen as US Treasury Secretary

Janet Yellen is the 78th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

The former Federal Reserve chair and longtime economist secured enough votes in the Senate on Monday after a confirmation hearing on Jan. 19. Yellen was tapped by President Joe Biden to lead the Treasury Department after winning election last year. She succeeds Steven Mnuchin, who left office on Wednesday following Biden’s inauguration.

The newly minted Cabinet official hasn’t spoken much on crypto. During her term leading the Federal Reserve Board, she indicated she wasn’t a huge fan of bitcoin but called for light regulation.

Yellen joins a Treasury Department overseeing a host of crypto-related proposed rules as well implementing President Biden’s response to an economic crisis brought about by the year-long global coronavirus pandemic. During her confirmation hearing she called for “big” relief from the government to support U.S. residents.

“Neither the President-elect, nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” she said in her opening remarks, before Biden was sworn in as president. “In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time.”

Yellen did not address the risk of heightened inflation during the hearing, though she said maintaining the stability of the U.S. financial system would be beneficial for both the U.S. and other nations.

Though inflation in the U.S. has been below 2% in the past few years, economists are watching the amount of debt the nation racks up in addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Particular concern’

Yellen didn’t provide much of a window into how she might approach the question of regulating cryptocurrencies during her testimony or in written remarks sent to the Senate Finance Committee after the…

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