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Frankfurt am Main, 27.05.2024 12:00:00

Last Tuesday, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management awarded US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen an honorary doctorate. In her keynote speech, Janet Yellen called for a strong transatlantic alliance.

Treasury Secretary Yellen emphasised the importance of the transatlantic alliance. In a fragile world order, Europe and the USA, two pillars of the free world, must join forces to ensure security, peace, freedom and prosperity. In the past, they had already taken on leadership roles together and shaped change. Janet Yellen asked for more cooperation on security policy, sustainable growth, the changing global economic landscape and climate change. She pleaded in favour of standing up for common values, especially in currently uncertain times. She explained that individual US initiatives, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, of course strengthened the domestic economy. The strategic goal of the Biden administration was to promote sustainable growth. Trade data showed that German and European companies were also benefiting from this policy, as they were successfully exporting their climate technology solutions to the USA, for example. President Biden and his government were not pursuing protectionism. On the contrary: the USA created opportunities — far beyond its borders.

Secretary Yellen's speech is available for download on the website of the US Department of the Treasury.

Stieglitz and Yellen

Over 400 guests attended the academic award ceremony for Janet Yellen on 21 May 2024.

In his laudatory speech, Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz, President of Frankfurt School, spoke about the impact Janet Yellen had and continues to have in academia and public office. He emphasised her commitment to developing theories to solve practical problems. As an example, he cited Yellen's research on efficiency wage theory, which states that paying employees above the market wage increases productivity, while employees who are paid less than what they perceive to be fair will purposefully work less, with important consequences for the overall economy. According to President Stieglitz, Frankfurt School's own ambitions are in line with those of Secretary Yellen: to be an international leader in academic excellence for impactful finance and management education and to make research-based contributions to pressing challenges in business, society and politics. He was therefore even more pleased that she accepted the honorary doctorate.

Nils Stieglitz' laudatory speech on the occasion of the award of an honorary doctorate to US Secretary of the Treasury Dr Janet Yellen can be downloaded here

Weidmann und Yellen

Professor Dr Jens Weidmann, Professor of Practice in Central Banking at Frankfurt School and Chairman of the Commerzbank Supervisory Board, paid tribute to Secretary Yellen's lasting achievements in academia, governance, and politics. He quoted his companion: listening carefully to others and understanding their perspectives was key to learning and intellectual growth. This is also an ethos that Frankfurt School shares. The former President of the Deutsche Bundesbank recalled that the economist Janet Yellen, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (‘San Francisco Fed’), had warned of a housing bubble and a possible financial crisis very early on in 2008. According to Jens Weidmann, Janet Yellen has an excellent understanding of economics and is an outstanding analyst. This proved to be a blessing during the unprecedented crisis.

Gallery 9

Economist Janet Yellen has been a pioneer her entire life: first in academia, then in public service and finally in politics. As the only woman in her doctoral class at Yale (Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stieglitz was her supervisor), the first woman to head the US Federal Reserve and the first female Secretary of the Treasury in the United States, Janet Yellen has always managed to assert herself in a male-dominated environment. ECB President Christine Lagarde also spoke about her pioneering role and the strength required for this in her video message to Janet Yellen.

Lindner Yellen

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner recalled how Janet Yellen, together with her husband, Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, evaluated the competitiveness of East German industry after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990. Based on her findings, she advised the German government to implement an infrastructure programme for the transformation. She predicted that only the Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen would be able to hold its own in the highly competitive market economy. She travelled to the former GDR, analysing the conditions in Bitterfeld in particular — which prompted Minister Lindner to invite Janet Yellen there to see the successes of the transformation for herself.

Christian Lindner's laudatory speech on the occasion of the award of an honorary doctorate to US Secretary of the Treasury Dr Janet Yellen can be downloaded here

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