Biden’s Pick to Lead Treasury, Janet Yellen, Made Over $7.2 Million in Speaking Fees: Disclosures

January 1, 2021 Updated: January 1, 2021

Former Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Treasury Department, made more than $7 million from speeches and working with corporations, according to financial documents disclosed on Dec. 31.

A financial disclosure form (pdf) posted to a government website showed she made about $7.2 million from speaking to Wall Street Firms and corporations over the past two years. She also worked with large firms such as Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Google, City National Bank, Salesforce, UBS, Citadel LLC, and Barclays.

The document showed that Yellen brought in more than $1 million after giving nine speeches to Citi and earned $800,000 speaking to Citadel, a hedge fund founded by billionaire Ken Griffin.

Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, made about $1.2 million over the past two years via the company WestExec Advisors, where he would consult corporate clients, according to a financial disclosure form (pdf). Another estimated $250,000 to $500,000 in stock is owed for Blinken’s work this year.

Previously, Blinken was the deputy secretary of state between 2015 and 2017. Blinken co-founded WestExec Advisors in 2017 along with several other former Obama administration officials, including Michele Flournoy, Sergio Aguirre, and Nitin Chadda.

Meanwhile, a financial disclosure form (pdf) for Biden’s pick as director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, worked as a consultant and principal at WestExec. She also reported $180,000 in fees from Palantir, the analytics company.

Yellen was the head of the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018 under the Obama administration. Her term wasn’t renewed by President Donald Trump.

After leaving the Federal Reserve, Yellen signed a contract with the Washington Speakers Bureau, an agency that helps former heads of states and political personalities manage speaking requests, reported the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a press conference on the sidelines of an international security summit in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Senior international politicians, analysts and military official are participating in this weekend's Manama Dialogue, put on annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies to discuss issues including extremism, security and the future of the Middle East. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
Former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a press conference on the sidelines of an international security summit in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

A Biden spokesperson told The Associated Press on Friday that Yellen has “spoken at economic conferences, universities and to business groups and financial institutions about her experiences and her views on what we can do as a country to build a stronger economy and increase our competitiveness” after she stopped working at the Federal Reserve.

The spokesperson added that “this is not someone who pulls punches when it comes to bad actors or bad behavior.”

“It’s clear that leaders in academia, business and economics were seeking informed, thoughtful insight on the economy during a chaotic time for the country when there were few trusted voices in government,” the spokesperson said, according to The Hill.