Janet Yellen's Salary Is Significantly Lower Than 113 Of Her Employees'
Apparently, being one of the most powerful people — and undoubtedly the most powerful woman — in the global economy doesn't mean you'll be paid what you're due. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen earns less than 113 staffers at the Federal Reserve, despite being head honcho at the U.S. central bank, Reuters reported Friday.
In data provided to Reuters after a Freedom of Information Act request for the U.S. Fed's salary structure, it turns out Yellen's salary is $201,700 a year, compared to the Fed’s highest paid employee, Inspector General Mark Bialek, who makes $312,000. After him, the bank’s four regional directors, the general counsel and chief operating officer take home a base wage of $265,000.
The annual salaries of the 113 top-earning employees at the U.S. Fed average at $246,506 — about $45,000 more than Yellen. But why exactly is she being paid less than her subordinates? Well, Yellen's salary is set by Congress; her senior staff's are not.
Don't let the inequality worry your taxpayer sensibilities too much, though. Michael Flaherty of Reuters reported that the Fed's expenses are not paid by you, responsible member of society, but by the earnings on the securities it holds.
Reuters initially requested for names of those who earn above $130,810 — the highest pay in most areas of the government. But the bank only provided information on those who make at least $225,000 a year, with some exceptions.
Some Republicans in Congress have called for more transparency by making that information public. The average salary of all the Fed's staffers is $121,279, excluding benefits.
Coincidentally, Yellen took to the stage on Friday, the same day this information was released, to talk about rising income inequality. The economist said that the wealth gap was was of great concern, and suggested that it was un-American.
According to Reuters, in defense of the bulging checkbooks of the Fed's top senior staff, Former Senator Ted Kaufman said it was important for the bank to "hire and retain talented staff who could fetch more in the private sector," pointing to the lure of managing directors $250,000 salaries at large investment banks. That's not to mention the bonuses they receive that sometimes double or triple that amount.
If all these big figures seem difficult to wrap your head around, it's because they are staggering and mostly unrelatable. Put into perspective, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans is $31,244 — and you have to admit, that wide of a disparity is pretty ridiculous.
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