People & Money

Biden’s Incoming Treasury Secretary Made $7M in 2 Years from Speeches

Former Chair of the United States Federal Reserve and the Joe Biden administration’s incoming Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, reportedly made up to $7.2 million in speaking fees within the past two years. This includes speaking engagements involving corporations like Google, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citi, and many others.

This was disclosed by the Biden administration at the end of 2020 alongside two other officials whose finances were made public ahead of the transition. The documents containing details of her earnings were submitted to the U.S. Office for Government Ethics for additional vetting before seeking confirmation of her appointment from the Senate.

Global investment bank, Citi, alone accounted for nearly $1 million of those earnings, after she gave speeches at nine of the company’s corporate events. A single speech for multinational hedge fund Citadel LLC brought her $292,500. She cashed similar huge paychecks from single speeches given at events organized by top corporations like PwC [$225,000], Standard Chartered Bank [$270,000], and UBS [$112,500]. For context, when she chaired the U.S. Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018, her annual salary was just above $200,000, earning much less than at least 113 of her employees. 

Also Read: Joe Biden eyes Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen for Treasury Secretary

It is a common practice for celebrated government officials to “hit the jackpot” in form of sharing ideas in exchange for a huge sum of money. In February 2016, CNN disclosed that Bill and Hillary Clinton had made a combined $153 million in speaking fees since 2001.

Apart from the speaking engagements, Yellen’s many professional commitments also contribute to her earnings. As a consultant for Magellan Financial Group, an Australian investment firm, she has earned $125,000. She has assets in firms like AT&T, Pfizer, and Dupont.

Biden’s other appointees are in a similar position to Yellen. Antony Blinken, the incoming Secretary of State, was also revealed to have made a fortune from consulting for corporations like Bank of America, Facebook, Uber, McKinsey & Company, LinkedIn, Boeing, and Sotheby’s. The incoming Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, has also made big bucks from huge corporates; she reportedly earned $180,000 consulting for Palantir, a data-mining giant.

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