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Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

  • The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Biden will nominate Yellen for the position.
  • An official with Biden's transition team declined to comment.
  • The stock market jumped on the news, with the Dow rising more than 380 points.

The big picture: Yellen’s experience will be critical in helping steer the country out of an economic crisis — one where the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have (until recently) worked hand in hand to develop unprecedented Fed stimulus programs.

  • Yellen was nominated as Fed chair in 2013 by President Obama. She was the first woman to head the Fed. Under her watch, the Fed hiked interest rates for the first time after a nearly a decade of near-zero interest rates. President Trump replaced Yellen with Jerome Powell in 2018.
  • She was head of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton from 1997-1999, before serving as president of the Fed’s San Francisco branch and then serving as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve.
  • Yellen has been a fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2018.

President Trump’s former National Economic Council director, Gary Cohn, praised Biden’s choice, tweeting, "I have no doubt she will be the steady hand we need to promote an economy that works for everyone, especially during these difficult times."

Between the lines: In selecting Yellen, Biden has decided to keep Fed Governor Lael Brainard on the central bank, avoiding a vacancy that her departure would have triggered and keeping her viable to replace Powell when his chairmanship ends in 2022.

  • After the Senate failed to confirm Judy Shelton, a Trump nominee, to the board of governors, Biden’s team grew increasingly concerned that Republicans might retaliate against their Fed nominees.
  • The Biden team also wants to find a role for Roger Ferguson, the CEO of the Teacher Insurance and Annuity Association, but is concerned about losing Democratic senators in a potential confirmation fight over someone with Wall Street ties.

Go deeper: Biden transition names first Cabinet nominees

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Go deeper

Robinhood has a stacked policy team — and it's going to need it

Photo Illustration: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The stock-trading app Robinhood has an arsenal of political power brokers it can deploy on its behalf as it faces congressional inquiries over its role in an internet-fueled market manipulation frenzy.

Why it matters: The populist, discount trading platform is going to need that firepower because its decision to suspend trading of stock in GameStop and a number of other companies on Thursday has sparked criticism and promised inquiries from both sides of the aisle.

CDC: Half of US adults have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Half of US adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and about a third are fully vaccinated, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still on the rise, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Friday's White House COVID-19 briefing. With cases in many states being driven by variants, public health officials have emphasized the need to ramp up vaccinations.

2 hours ago - World

Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Photo: DEBBIE HILL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.