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Pam and Russ Martens: Yellen's speaking fees have Chinese Communist taint

Section: Daily Dispatches

Ten Months after Stepping Down as Fed Chair, Janet Yellen Became Part of the 'Leadership' Team for Forums Tied to the Chinese Communist Party

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Sunday, January 24, 2021

Haven't we learned anything about properly vetting people for the highest offices in the U.S. government?

Former Fed Chair and Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen has failed to report the details of millions of dollars in fees she earned in 2018, the year she stepped down as Fed chair as she went on a whirlwind of speaking engagements in foreign cities.

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Yellen's "leadership" role with the Bloomberg New Economy Forums, which had the "active participation and support" of an organization openly tied to the Chinese Communist Party, raises other serious red flags. And yet Yellen sailed through her Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing last week, gaining a favorable vote of 26-0. A full Senate vote to confirm Yellen as Treasury Secretary is expected to occur tomorrow.

What Yellen did disclose on her Office of Government Ethics financial disclosure form showed that in 2019 and 2020 she made a cash haul of more than $7 million in speaking fees, most of which came from Wall Street trading houses, mega-banks, and hedge funds.
Yellen stepped down as chair of the Fed on February 3, 2018. Over the next 10 months, in addition to her foreign gigs, Yellen also appeared at numerous stateside paid engagements for Wall Street firms like JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Jefferies. She has failed to make public the transcripts of her speeches at these events or the specific amounts she was paid.

After the news broke of Yellen's $7 million haul, senior reporter Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica Tweeted: "Deeply troubling two-fisted money grab from banks by Janet Yellen. This is corruption but isn't called that because it's so quotidian."

Eisinger also noted: "Sure, Yellen might think she can make independent decisions once in office. But how arrogant is it to imagine that money corrupts everyone but you?"

Many of the banks Yellen accepted cash windfalls from were regulated by the Fed prior to her departure. These banks are also recidivist lawbreakers.

JPMorgan Chase has been charged with and admitted to five criminal felony counts brought by the U.S. Justice Department while it was being supervised by the Fed. The public deserves to know how much Yellen received from JPMorgan Chase in the year after she left the Fed.

Citigroup, a bank smaller than JPMorgan Chase, paid Yellen more than $990,000 in 2019 and 2020, according to her financial disclosure form. Citigroup received the largest Fed bailout in global banking history following the Wall Street crash of 2008. ...

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