Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen dismissed recent bond market movements that indicated concern about monetary policymakers stifling economic growth, and expressed optimism about the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
When asked if she was concerned by sharp changes in Treasury yields, she replied, "No, not me. I believe we will witness a good, robust recovery. The unemployment rate has dropped significantly, and this is nothing compared to the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis."
The yield curve in the US flattened the most last week since the summer of 2020, as measured by the difference between two-year and 10-year Treasury yields. The move was prompted in part by expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates sooner than expected to combat inflation.
Yellen, who served as chair of the Fed from 2014 to 2018, did not comment directly on monetary policy, but she did give an implicit vote of confidence in the Fed's approach to removing its stimulus.
"The Fed has a framework that it uses to make decisions. They've stated that they'll start tapering asset purchases," she said. She spoke just days before the Fed's policy meeting on Wednesday, when it's expected to announce the end of its quantitative-easing programme, which is a prerequisite for raising interest rates.
Yellen said that Fed Chair Jerome Powell has stated that he believes the current bout of inflation would subside over time, a viewpoint similar to her own.