Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen chatted with late-night host Stephen Colbert about her face appearing on currency, her handwriting and more.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has made her first-ever appearance on late night TV.
She appeared Wednesday night on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on CBS.
Yellen talked about the economy and the Federal Reserve, but Colbert had a very pressing question for her.
"Why isn't your name on the money?" asked the host.
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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen explains how inflation was elevated by rapid job growth and other factors during an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (CBS/"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert")
Yellen has been treasury secretary since January 2021, but her signature has yet to appear on currency.
Colbert pointed out that former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's name is still on the bills.
Yellen explained that there are two signatures on bills, the other being the treasurer, who had not been named until this past September.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, when she spoke about the U.S. economy, inflation, and other world news. (CBS/"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert")
President Biden appointed Chief Lynn Malerba as treasurer of the United States. Chief Malerba is the first Native American to serve as treasurer.
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Yellen says next week, she is going to Fort Worth, Texas, to see the first sheets of currency with both of their names.
She said she "has practiced and practiced."
"Tim Geithner and Jack Lew signed the currency and their signatures were so illegible that people made fun of them," Yellen said. "So, I knew this was something you could really screw up, and I wanted to get it right."
Colbert asked Yellen about the state of the economy and especially inflation.
"I believe there is a path to bringing inflation down while maintaining a strong healthy labor market," said Yellen. "We had a rapid recovery, growth has slowed. I expect the pace of job creation to slowdown which is natural and expected when the unemployment rate is close to the lowest in 50 years."
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks with host Stephen Colbert during an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (CBS/"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert")
Yellen listed all the elements that have contributed to inflation.
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"I think we can take the heat out of the economy and remember that Russia has conducted a brutal war against Ukraine and that caused gas prices to spike, its caused food prices to spike. Its creating hardship all over the world," said Yellen. "We're really trying to address those strains as well that's another reason inflation went up and we're trying to hold that down."
Colbert asked about the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX,
"The collapse of FTX was a Lehman moment for the cryptocurrency sector, but there hasn't been much contagion to the real economy. Investors have lost a lot of money and to me that points to the need for much more regulation of this sector."