Janet Yellen Rejects Idea Corporate Greed Is to Blame for Inflation

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen rejected the idea that corporate greed is causing the US inflation surge, differing with fellow Democrats who have accused big businesses of price gouging.

“Demand and supply is largely driving inflation,” Yellen said at a New York Times hosted event on Thursday, when asked about the view that corporate greed is a key cause. She said that it’s true that price-to-cost margins have gone up, but she said that’s not what’s driving inflation.

President Joe Biden has threatened price-gouging probes in gasoline, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed a bill in her chamber aimed at combatting that practice -- saying last month that there was “a major exploitation of the consumer” taking place.

Yellen said that she supports a “strong” antitrust policy. She reiterated that, in the battle against inflation, the administration looks “first and foremost” to the Federal Reserve to deal with it.

She warned that there’s a risk of higher food and energy prices, including for gasoline. But she said there’s “nothing to suggest a recession is in the works.”