U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says U.S. inflation should continue to decline over the next year, barring any unexpected shocks in the global economy.
Vwith 60 Minutes correspondent Norah O’Donnell, Yellen discussed the state of the U.S. economy, the risk of a recession and the economic consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“There is a risk of a recession. But in my view, it’s certainly not something that’s needed to bring inflation down,” Yellen said.
“When I talk to business leaders, they say, ‘We’re getting ready for a recession,'” O’Donnell told Yellen. So some people said to me: ‘Ask the Minister of Finance. What does she know that we don’t?'”
“Economic growth is slowing down significantly. And companies see it. Look, we had a very quick recovery from the pandemic. Economic growth was very high. And there was a jump in hiring, people had to be put back to work. We got people back to work. . We have filled that gap. We have a healthy labor market. To bring inflation down, and because almost everyone who wants a job has one, growth has to slow,” Yellen said. “We’re at or above full employment. So the economy doesn’t have to grow as fast as it did to put people back to work.”
Yellen is a central figure in the modern American economy and is the nation’s first Treasury Secretary and was the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve Board from 2014 to 2018. She is the only person to lead both agencies and chair the White House Council of Economic Advisers. which advises the president on domestic and international economic policy.
Yellen told 60 Minutes that she plans to stay in her position during President Joe Biden’s administration.
“I’m very excited about the work we’re doing,” Yellen told O’Donnell. “It includes things like transforming the Internal Revenue Service into a modern, user-friendly and highly efficient operation and closing what has been a very unfair tax loophole where people on lower incomes, who are mainly wages and salaries, pay tax, pay tax. “
Secretary Yellen also said the country needs to modernize its tax system. The US tax code can often be confusing, difficult to navigate, and difficult for taxpayers to access. The National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the IRS, saidAmericans made 282 million phone calls to tax collectors, of which only 11% were answered.
Norah O’Donnell traveled with Secretary Yellen to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth, Texas, where Secretary and U.S. Treasurer Lynn Malerba saw their names printed on U.S. currency for the first time. Malerba, a chief in the Mohegan tribe, is the first Native American woman to have her name printed on American money.
“I think it shows that women are making decent progress in all endeavors in the United States, but especially in business and economics, [where] women were underrepresented,” Yellen said.
Charlene Williams, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), showed Secretary Yellen and Treasurer Malerba the new bills. Williams has worked for BEP for nearly 35 years, overseeing the production of US paper currency.
“The engraving process is very precise,” Williams explained to 60 Minutes Overtime. “When the $1 signatures were prepared for the $1 bill for the new secretary and the new treasurer, they were engraved by hand … with tools that are over 100 years old. They are literally passed down from generation to generation.”
Williams told 60 Minutes that it takes 22 to 26 weeks for a new batch of signatures to be incorporated into US currency.
“I started my career in 1988 and the US currency has really changed since I first came to work for BEP,” Williams told 60 Minutes Overtime. “It used to be black and green ink … Over time it really changed. Our currency circulates worldwide. We are looking at how we can evolve and always strive to protect the hard-earned currency that people carry in their pockets every day. Ultimately, we’re looking at how we can always include strong security features that protect United States paper currency.”
Williams took 60 Minutes to tour the Texas BEP plant, which prints millions of bills a day and more than half of the U.S. dollar bill. The remainder is printed at the BEP location in Washington, DC. The nation’s coins are produced by the United States Mint, another department of the Treasury Department.
In the video above, you can follow the multi-step production process that BEP uses to produce the US dollar. It begins with a Federal Reserve order, uses intaglio printing, and takes an average of four weeks to produce. But even when the notes leave the BEP facility, they must go through an extra step before they get into public hands.
“If you want to know how much money we really have here, it’s zero,” Williams said. “It’s not a dollar until it’s owned by the Federal Reserve Board. Once they take over that currency, it becomes monetized through their system.”
The video above was produced by Keith Zubrow and edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger. Keith Sharman contributed to this work.