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The historic collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has put a spotlight on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who reassured the Senate Finance Committee and Americans watching that despite the downfall of the bank, the U.S. banking system “remains sound.”
Here’s what you should know about Yellen as the government deals with the aftermath of SVB.
What is Janet Yellen’s background?
Yellen has a long history of working in economics.
Born in Brooklyn in 1946, Yellen earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Brown University and later earned a masters and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.
In 1994, former President Bill Clinton nominated Yellen to her first federal office position, serving as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
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She left the Federal Reserve in 1996 to join the White House, serving as chair of Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers.
How old is Janet Yellen?
Yellen is 76 years old. She has a husband and one son.
What has Janet Yellen done recently?
In 2013, former President Barack Obama nominated Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve as chair. Yellen was later confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 56-26, making history as the first woman to lead the Fed.
Yellen made history again when then-President-elect Joe Biden nominated her to lead the Treasury Department in 2020 and the Senate later confirmed her by a vote of 84-15 in 2021, making her the first woman to lead the Treasury Department.
How are Yellen and SVB related?
Yellen, as secretary of the Treasury Department, has helped lead the government’s efforts in dealing with the aftermath of the demise of SVB.
SVB, a bank with strong connections to technology startups and venture capital, failed last Friday due to a bank run. The collapse was the second largest bank failure in U.S. history and is the largest collapse since Washington Mutual in 2008 during the global financial crisis.
Ripple effect:How Silicon Valley Bank collapse is affecting other US banks
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized control of the bank and later on Sunday issued a joint statement with the Fed and the Treasury Department that all deposits will be protected by the government.
In her testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, Yellen said that depositors’ savings in the bank “remain safe” and that the overall banking system is stable.
“I can reassure the members of the committee that our banking system is sound and that Americans can feel confident that their deposits will be there when they need them,” Yellen said.