CNBC Unique: CNBC Transcript: United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Speaks with CNBC’s “Closing Bell” At this time

All references have to be sourced to CNBC. SARA EISEN: In response to Putin’s struggle…

All references have to be sourced to CNBC.

SARA EISEN: In response to Putin’s struggle in opposition to Ukraine, the US, EU and allies have imposed extreme sanctions on Russia, together with America’s ban this week on Russian oil. At this time, Russia hitting again issuing its personal retaliatory sanctions and becoming a member of us now in an unique interview is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Secretary Yellen, good to see you once more. Thanks for becoming a member of us.

SECRETARY JANET YELLEN: Good to be with you. Thanks, Sara.

EISEN: So now that you just’ve had some days to see the influence of the sanctions that you just and our allies have placed on Russia, what’s your willpower of whether or not they’re working?

YELLEN: Properly, I believe the sanctions have been devastating of their financial influence. We’ve all however minimize Russia off from the worldwide monetary system. You may see that the ruble is in freefall. The inventory market is closed, shares that commerce in western exchanges have misplaced the majority of their worth. The export controls that we’ve put in place could have a devastating longer, medium run impact in depriving Russia of the expertise that they should run a contemporary economic system and advance in protection in different areas which can diminish the facility that they may have for years to return. And, you recognize, Russia’s struggle chest the 600 billion plus of reserves that their central financial institution had, I consider they hoped would defend them from the results of our sanctions and be like a buffer in opposition to them. And our sanctions on the Central Financial institution of Russia have succeeded in all however immobilizing the overwhelming majority. So, Russia is experiencing very extreme financial penalties. I anticipate there to be a extreme downturn within the Russian economic system.

EISEN: And but Putin has not backed down and has solely intensified this horrific struggle in opposition to Ukraine. What extra can we do, can we do as a rustic and with our allies?

YELLEN: Properly we proceed to help Ukraine in its struggle in opposition to Russia in the entire ways in which we are able to. Now we have made clear that we don’t intend to change into concerned militarily, however we’re actually supporting Ukraine and we’ll proceed to think about and talk about additional sanctions, you recognize, that can actually deprive Russia of the assets that they should conduct struggle over time.

EISEN: Like, like what, what hasn’t been sanctioned already?

YELLEN: So I don’t need to give a concrete listing of issues we’re contemplating however we’ve put collectively a world job power that can start to grab the property, the yachts and the actual property of oligarchs who’ve been sanctioned. Now we have put in place and will broaden sanctions that make it extraordinarily troublesome for, for Russia, its authorities and its companies to entry worldwide capital. There’s extra that we are able to do however we’ve, what we’ve executed has been devastating.

EISEN: Properly maintain us posted actually on that. There’s this concept although that Russia does have a workaround in terms of China. They will purchase gold from the central financial institution, they will spend money on vitality corporations and purchase extra oil. They will, they may also help them get across the SWIFT guidelines and the banking system. I do know that you just stated earlier that you just haven’t essentially seen any proof that China is lending help to Russia but when we do, what would say secondary sanctions seem like and the way powerful would that be to drag off given the wrestle that it took for the Trump administration to place the China tariffs in place?

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YELLEN: In order I stated, I’ve not seen proof that China is offering Russia with any important workaround for our sanctions. They do purchase Russian oil conceivably they, they may purchase extra however there are limitations on the flexibility to ship oil to China. Chinese language banks do a number of enterprise with the West. They care very deeply about their relationship with the US and European monetary techniques they usually appear to be very cautious of their willingness to do enterprise with Russia. So conceivably, there might be some partial reduction for Russia by that channel, however I don’t assume that something will occur by China or not less than I’m not seeing any proof of it that will considerably mitigate the crushing burden of what we’ve executed.

EISEN: However if you happen to do, would you be ready to sanction Chinese language corporations, Chinese language entities?

YELLEN: Yeah, I’m not going to leap forward to what we’d be ready to do. I’m not, I’m not seeing something taking place at this level and we’ll observe issues intently.

EISEN: Properly one factor I do know you’re monitoring is, is the influence on our economic system and on inflation specifically. Received the newest CPI studying right now for February 7.9% and that was earlier than the majority of the influence was actually seen from the struggle on sure commodities.


EISEN: How a lot is, how a lot is that this disaster exacerbating the inflation drawback we have already got?

YELLEN: Properly, it’s exacerbating it. I believe there’s little doubt about it. We’ve seen a really significant improve in gasoline costs and my guess is that subsequent month, we’ll see an extra proof of an influence on US inflation of Putin’s struggle on Ukraine. , Russia, along with exporting oil and we, you recognize, we’ve actually seen significant will increase in oil costs which might be associated to Russia’s invasion and the expectation that it will invade Ukraine. So oil, Ukraine in Russia, are main producers of wheat, we’re seeing impacts on meals costs and I believe that may have very extreme impact on some very weak rising market nations. So we’ll see one thing on meals, palladium, nickel, different minerals that Russia exports might translate into, you recognize, for instance, larger prices of catalytic converters or batteries so there’ll be additional provide chain points within the brief run, and it’ll result in, to US inflation, in addition to European inflation. However, you recognize, it’s actually vital and I believe Individuals really feel strongly and as folks everywhere in the world try this this type of habits that violates each worldwide norm of respectable habits, what we’re actually seeing is an atrocity and peace-loving democratic nations must and are standing up in opposition to it. , we’ve designed these sanctions to have the utmost influence on Russia whereas mitigating fallout for everybody else, together with the US. But it surely’s not life like to assume that we are able to take actions of this magnitude with out feeling some penalties ourselves.

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EISEN: Already had been taking place and is occurring within the US in terms of rising costs from the whole lot from wages to rents to meals costs. I believe your expectation beforehand is that inflation would settle down within the second half of this 12 months to regular ranges. Have you ever revised these expectations? The place do you assume we’ll be on the finish of the 12 months?

YELLEN: So I believe there’s a number of uncertainty that’s associated to what’s happening with Russia and Ukraine and I do assume that it’s, it’s exacerbating inflation. I don’t need to make a prediction precisely as to what’s going to occur within the second half of the 12 months. , we’re more likely to see one other 12 months through which 12-month inflation numbers stay very uncomfortably excessive. , the Federal Reserve is trying very rigorously at this. They’ve indicated that they intend to take actions to carry inflation down and I’ve confidence of their skill to make a significant distinction going ahead.

EISEN: And now we’ve got new world development issues particularly spillover results on, on Europe and a possible slowdown within the economic system there. So how will we, the US, escape stagflation or worse recession?

YELLEN: So, you recognize, we’ve acquired a great sturdy economic system, and once we had January, February months through which employment development has been exceptionally sturdy, even this morning’s report on unemployment insurance coverage claims, they continue to be very low. We’ve acquired a great sturdy labor market, many, many job openings. Households in good monetary form. We’re celebrating this week the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan and, you recognize, this can be a piece of laws that served to carry unemployment down and, and provoke the strongest development we’ve had in 40 years. And we’ve acquired a great sturdy economic system with a wonderful outlook for the labor market and actual exercise going ahead. Inflation is an issue and it’s one which we have to tackle however I don’t anticipate a recession in the US.

EISEN: Stagflation, is {that a} life like risk?

YELLEN: Properly, stagflation normally means excessive inflation mixed with a weak economic system. And I believe that the labor market will stay sturdy. I, you recognize, I believe the Federal Reserve has made clear they intend to take away some financial coverage lodging, which is suitable with an economic system with a labor market that’s as sturdy as ours that also rising above pattern and with inflation effectively above something that corresponds to cost, value stability. So I believe it’s acceptable for them to take motion, however a mushy touchdown is what I anticipate and traditionally, we’ve got seen tightening cycles characterised by mushy landings.

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EISEN: And at last, earlier than we allow you to go, we’re simply getting phrase in the previous couple of minutes right here that that your division is getting ready to sanction North Korea now as quickly as tomorrow over current long-range missile assessments and escalation there. Something you may inform us about what that’s going to seem like and whether or not sanctions in opposition to North Korea even work at this level?

YELLEN: I don’t have something for you on that. You simply have to attend and see if there’s an announcement.

EISEN: We’ll try this. Secretary Yellen, thanks a lot on your time right now. We respect that.

YELLEN: Thanks. Pleasure to be with you.


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