Yellen Consulted Ethics Lawyers Over GameStop Meeting

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen meets President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 29, 2021, for talks on the economy. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen consulted ethics lawyers before calling a meeting with the government’s top financial regulators to discuss the GameStop stock trading frenzy, according to a report from Reuters.

Yellen’s sought an ethics waiver after media reports pointed out that she received $700,0000 in speaking fees from Citadel, LLC.  Yellen has said she would not act in an official capacity in matters involving the firm without receiving a written waiver from Treasury ethics officials.

Citadel, alongside another fund, extended a $2.75 billion bailout to hedge fund Melvin Capital Management. Melvin had suffered billions in losses because of its bet against GameStop. Robinhood, the app-based broker that sparked outrage when it restricted trading in so-called meme stocks, is paid by Citadel Securities for privileged access to its users’ trades.

Treasury said Wednesday that the meeting would include Yellen and leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Secretary Yellen believes the integrity of markets is important and has asked for a discussion of recent volatility in financial markets and whether recent activities are consistent with investor protection and fair and efficient markets,” Treasury spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said.

(An earlier version of this story misspelled Ms. LaManna’s name.)

 

Yellen, the former head of the Federal Reserve, was confirmed by the Senate as President Joe Biden’s treasury chief last month.

—UPI contributed to this report.

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