Goldman Sachs – Yellen Earned Millions in Speaking Fees After Leaving Fed, Disclosures Show
pick for Treasury secretary, collected more than $7 million in speaking fees during more than 50 in-person and virtual engagements over the past two years, according to financial disclosures released Thursday.
A separate ethics agreement outlined Ms. Yellen’s plans to resign as a consultant to the
Magellan Financial Group Ltd.
, an investment-fund manager based in Australia, upon her confirmation. Ms. Yellen began consulting for the firm one year after leaving her post as Federal Reserve chairwoman in early 2018.
The agreement said Ms. Yellen would seek special authorization for one year when dealing with matters pertaining to Magellan, according to forms posted online by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
The agreement outlines similar steps she would take for 16 additional financial firms or entities from which she collected speaking fees in the past year, including
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.,
and hedge-fund firm Citadel LLC. Those measures would be in place until one year after the speaking fee was paid.
Like many former government officials, Ms. Yellen signed a contract shortly after leaving the Fed with the Washington Speakers Bureau, an agency that helps former heads of state and other political personalities manage scores of speaking requests. Ms. Yellen has spoken frequently since leaving the central bank on the economic outlook and monetary policy, a topic of intense interest to Wall Street firms that closely follow the Fed.
Ms. Yellen and her husband—Nobel Prize-winning economist
—had assets such as stocks, bond-fund shares and bank accounts valued at between $8 million and $19.6 million this year, according to the disclosures. The disclosure forms use ranges rather than specific amounts.
The assets belonging to Ms. Yellen, 74, and her husband are primarily in the form of investments, many of which are part of a living trust the couple created in 1982. In her ethics agreement, Ms. Yellen said she would divest her shares in 13 large companies, including
within 90 days of her confirmation.
Her disclosures also show she and her husband own a stamp collection worth between $15,000 and $50,000.
No hearings for Biden nominees have been scheduled in the Senate. Complicating matters are two Georgia runoff elections next Tuesday. Should Democrats win both, they will take control of the Senate and be able to schedule hearings. If Republicans retain one or both positions, they will keep control.
Confirmation hearings for Ms. Yellen and others are in the process of being scheduled and are expected to be announced shortly after the Georgia runoff, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Ms. Yellen served as Fed chairwoman from 2014 to 2018 and as vice chairwoman from 2010 to 2014. From 2004 until 2010, she served as president of the San Francisco Fed. She also was a Fed governor from 1994 to 1997 and she chaired the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton White House from 1997 to 1999. She has been a fellow at the Brookings Institution since leaving the Fed and she served this past year as the president of the American Economic Association.
Typically, senators hold hearings for key posts ahead of presidential inaugurations and have key national security posts ready for a final confirmation on Jan. 20, the day of the ceremony. In the past 50 years, every newly elected president’s Treasury secretary nominee has had a confirmation hearing before the Jan. 20 inauguration with one exception: In 2009, President
faced a short delay after he disclosed he hadn’t paid Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while working for the International Monetary Fund.
Until recently, most Treasury secretaries in a new administration had been confirmed on Inauguration Day or a few days later. In 2017, Treasury Secretary
confirmation was delayed until mid-February as lawmakers pored over his financial disclosures.
Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, showed a net worth exceeding $150 million in 2017, and he agreed to divest his holdings in 43 different investments and several investment funds he had run. He also committed to step down from 42 different positions.
The proposed Senate schedule released last week—which Democrats could change if they win the majority—has the chamber meeting on Jan. 3 for the start of the session and again on Jan. 6 to count the votes of the Electoral College. The next session day listed is Jan 20.
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