By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 6, 2021 ~
On December 29 we needed a clarification from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers about his opinion column against Congress issuing $2,000 stimulus checks. We sent him an email at 10:13 a.m. and received a very clear response from him directly at 12:51 p.m. that day — a span of a few hours.
Compare that timely response to Janet Yellen’s respect for the media’s obligation to report a full set of facts to the American people. Three days ago, we contacted Yellen at four different entities with which she is affiliated. Only the Brookings Institution responded, saying she was on leave. President-elect Joe Biden’s media team did not respond at all, nor did the Washington Speakers Bureau and University of California, Berkeley.
Yellen is Biden’s nominee for U.S. Treasury Secretary. In anticipation of her Senate confirmation hearing, she has released her financial disclosure forms which showed a windfall of more than $7 million in speaking fees since she left her position with the Federal Reserve. The bulk of that money came from Wall Street firms, which are variously regulated and bailed out by the Fed.
Our question for Yellen is an uncomfortable one: why did her financial disclosure form report her cash haul from Wall Street’s serially charged trading houses for just the years 2019 and 2020 when common sense suggests her biggest haul would have been in 2018, when her knowledge of the thinking at the Fed was most timely.
Yellen stepped down as Chair of the Federal Reserve on February 3, 2018 when President Trump failed to renominate her for the position of Chair. Yellen was a Fed Governor before becoming its Chair and that term didn’t expire until 2024. Yellen could have remained at the Fed and functioned as a public servant. Instead, in the very same month that she stepped down at the Fed, she signed an exclusive contract with the Washington Speakers Bureau.
Less than two months after stepping down from the Fed, Yellen was raking in huge fees for chumming around with, and delivering her bits of wisdom to, the mega trading houses on Wall Street: the very same folks who blew up the U.S. financial system in 2008 and received a super-secret $29 trillion bailout from the Fed. The details of the Fed’s obscene bailout were made public three years after the fact under a federal court decision and government audit.
Yellen’s first event on April 2, 2018 was reported by Reuters. Yellen was hosted by Jefferies Group LLC where she first answered questions from 100 of its top clients – such as hedge funds. That same evening, she dined at the penthouse of Jefferies’ CEO with 40 of his chosen guests at a sit-down dinner. Yellen declined to tell Reuters what she was paid for the event.
David Zervos, Chief Strategist for Jefferies, Tweeted a photo of himself with Yellen from the event, stating: “An amazing evening last night hosting Janet Yellen for our clients in NY.”
We also know from this YouTube video and press release that Yellen was a speaker during the October 28-31, 2018 Charles Schwab IMPACT conference, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. We have yet to learn what she was paid for that event.
Bloomberg News also reported Yellen’s presence at their November 6-7, 2018 New Economic Forum in Singapore, writing that Yellen said it was “unclear whether the U.S. has the appropriate tools to deal with some of the new, emerging risks.” The public has no knowledge of what Yellen charged to speak in Singapore.
And we know from a press release from the CME Group, owner of futures exchanges, that Yellen spoke at its annual Global Financial Leadership Conference at the Ritz-Carlton beach resort, held November 12-14, 2018 in Naples, Florida. Again, the specific amount she was paid for this event has been withheld by Yellen.
According to Yellen’s financial disclosure form, she was speaking as many as four or more times a month during 2019. For example, in just the month of March, 2019, Yellen raked in the following from the finance sector in speaking fees:
March 3, 2019: Standard Chartered Bank, $270,000
March 6, March 11, and March 12, 2019: three speaking events at Citigroup for $217,200 each for a total of $651,600
Citigroup received the largest secret bailout from the Fed in global banking history, representing more than $2.5 trillion in cumulative, below-market rate loans from December 2007 through at least the middle of 2010, according to the audit released in 2011 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
We know that Yellen has not fully disclosed her financial entanglements with Wall Street because page 8 of her financial disclosure form asks her to list her “sources of compensation exceeding $5,000 in a year.” Under that heading, Yellen lists JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Carlyle Investment Management. And she states the source of the income from those firms resulted from her being a “speaker.” But Yellen has not included those firms and others in her details of income for 2019 or 2020, leaving the reader to assume that she was paid for speaking events at these firms in 2018, while failing to report the specific amounts of income from each.
How much Yellen was paid by the five-count felony firm of JPMorgan Chase is a matter of national interest (and potentially national security), considering that the Fed did not force out the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, as he presided over all five of those felony counts in a six-year span. The bank admitted guilt to all five felonies.
Yellen needs to immediately come clean with the American people as to just what happened in 2018 after she left the Fed. As Treasury Secretary, Yellen would not only have control over the slush fund called the Exchange Stabilization Fund, which the New York Fed can use to trade in gold, stocks and currencies, but Yellen will also Chair the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC), which makes decisions on threats posed to the U.S. financial system by those very same banks that have provided millions to enrich Yellen.
As 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?”