Janet Yellen is behind the “biggest blunder” in the history of America’s Treasury, according to billionaire hedge funder Stanley Druckenmiller.
Druckenmiller—whose decades-long career has seen him build a net worth of more than $6 billion—slammed the Treasury Secretary during an on-stage discussion at last week’s Robin Hood Investors Conference, arguing that Yellen had failed to take advantage of the ultra-low interest rates era.
“When rates were practically zero, every Tom, Dick and Harry in the U.S. refinanced their mortgage… corporations extended [their debt],” he said. “Unfortunately, we had one entity that did not: the U.S. Treasury.”
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, central banks all over the world cut interest rates as lockdowns and health concerns stifled spending. The U.S. Federal Reserve eased monetary policy so that rates fell to near zero.
Thanks to a post-pandemic surge in consumer demand, labor and production shortages, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparking a global energy crisis, inflation spiraled to its highest level in four decades last year. The Fed, then, has been much more hawkish over the past two years as it battles to tame surging prices, carrying out a series of rate hikes that has brought interest rates to a 22-year high.