Vice President Kamala Harris participates in a swearing-in ceremony with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Yellen's husband George Akerlof, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at the White House in Washington. The Treasury building stands behind. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen was sworn in Tuesday as the nation's 78th Treasury secretary and the first woman to hold the office.
She was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris at a ceremony performed outside on the East Landing of the White House with a view of the Treasury Department that Yellen will lead. Yellen's husband, George Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel prize in economics and their son Robert, also an economist, were present for the brief ceremony.
Yellen became the third of President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations to win Senate approval on a vote of 84-15 late Monday. All of the no votes came from Republican senators.
The administration has emphasized the need to get its nominees approved quickly given the threats facing the country from a global pandemic and a slumping economy.
Yellen enters the Treasury job after many years serving in other top economic jobs, including as the first woman to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018.
7 Hotel Stocks Just Waiting For the Vaccine
Like any group of stocks related to travel and tourism, hotel stocks saw a steep drop in share prices in 2020. The leisure and hospitality sector that once had 15 million employees has lost 4 million jobs since February.
Many major cities will be feeling the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic for years. However, there is ample evidence that shows the pandemic may be coming to an end. The number of new cases is dropping. The number of those getting vaccinated is rising. And even in the cities with the most restrictive mitigation measures, the slow process of reopening is beginning.
All of this can’t come fast enough for individuals who rely on the travel and tourism industry for their livelihood. Hotel chains had at least some revenue coming in the door. And when earnings season concludes, the more budget-friendly hotel chains may realize revenue that is 75% of its 2019 numbers. But that is not enough to bring the hotels to anywhere near full employment. Particularly with hotels that have bars and restaurants that have remained closed or open at limited capacity.
Many economists are optimistic that travel may begin to look more normal by the summer of this year. And the global economy may deliver 6.4% GDP growth this year. With that in mind, the hotel chains with the best fundamentals and the broadest footprint will be in the best position as the economy reopens.
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