Andrew Ross Sorkin: Janet Yellen, Fed 'got it wrong' on inflation, were 'a little political' in their response

Talking about whether the U.S. is “headed for a mega recession,” host Kara Swisher noted that Sorkin “just recently interviewed Janet Yellen, who kind of missed it,” and “Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says it’s a possibility, but not likely,” then asked how he thought the two were “handling things.” 

“Well, let’s be honest. They’ve gotten it wrong. They’ve gotten it wrong,” Sorkin responded. “They’ve said they’ve gotten it wrong. I think why they got it wrong is probably more interesting,” he continued. 

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U.S. President Joe Biden (C) meets with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in the Oval Office at the White House on May 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. The three met to discuss the Biden Administration's plan to combat record-high inflation.

U.S. President Joe Biden (C) meets with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in the Oval Office at the White House on May 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. The three met to discuss the Biden Administration’s plan to combat record-high inflation. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“You know, if you’re Janet Yellen, she’s in a political job, and they wanted to run that economy a little hot. They said that. They felt they needed that. And that was a mistake,” Sorkin said. 

“Jay Powell, I’m not sure wanted to run the economy hot per se, but there was a period of time where he had an opportunity to try to put the brakes on. And he didn’t, in part because he was up to be reappointed [by the president],” he continued. 

Sorkin alluded to President Biden’s nomination of Powell for a second term. Had Biden been displeased with Powell’s monetary policies, he could have nominated somebody else.

“And had he put the brakes on prior to that, which is when, I think, he would have wanted to, it’s unclear whether he’d still have the job,” he said. “So all of these things to me are a little political,” he continued. 

Sorkin also expressed fascination at Yellen’s expressed certainty that there will not be a recession. 

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U.S. President Joe Biden announces the nomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for a second four-year term, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Joe Biden announces the nomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for a second four-year term, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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