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Janet Yellen wears a mask while exiting after swearing in Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, the most senior-ranking Black person in the department's history. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One big difference between 2021 and 2009: Many of the world's top economic officials this time around are women.

The big picture: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai are front and center on U.S. efforts, Reuters reports.

The European Central Bank is led by Christine Lagarde, the IMF by Kristalina Georgieva and the WTO by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

  • "[W]omen [run] finance ministries in 16 countries, and 14 of the world’s central banks," per Reuters.

Between the lines: The pandemic shattered decades of economic progress for women, and there is concern that the scarring in the labor market could be permanent, according to Axios managing editor for business Aja Whitaker-Moore.

  • Gender and racial diversity within Biden’s economic policy team likely means more attention will be paid to issues of inequality across the board.
  • That includes policies that will help maximize women in the labor force, ensuring that they earn more and can therefore contribute more to increased economic growth.

The bottom line: UN adviser Eric LeCompte told Reuters he's been "meeting with Treasury secretaries for 20 years, and their talking points have been entirely different."

  • "In every area we discussed, Yellen put an emphasis on empathy, and the impact of policies on vulnerable communities.”

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 7, 2021 - Economy & Business

More spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Unprecedented government borrowing and spending helped cushion the global economy from the coronavirus pandemic and will need to stay in place for some time to ensure a healthy recovery, according to top economists at the IMF's spring meetings.

Driving the news: At the opening of its spring meetings on Tuesday the IMF again revised up its forecast for global growth this year, now projecting the world will see 6% GDP growth, the highest since the 1970s.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Apr 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

The world's pandemic rebound

Data: IMF World Economic Outlook; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The global economy is going to end 2021 2.5% larger than it was at the end of 2019. That's according to the latest forecast from the IMF, which has upgraded its economic projections by about half a percentage point since its last forecast in January.

Why it matters: The overall growth rate of 6% in 2021 masks a huge range between countries. India is projected to grow at a 12.5% pace this year, for instance, while Nigeria will only grow by 2.5%.

IMF proposes temporary tax on wealthy to help fight inequity

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

IMF fiscal chief Vitor Gaspar in an interview with Financial Times called for an additional tax on high-earning individuals and companies that remained stable through the pandemic, saying it would show solidarity with those who struggled.

Why it matters: The temporary tax would go toward reducing social inequities that have widened under economic and health strains. Younger and poorer people have suffered the most during the pandemic, the IMF said in its April 2021 Fiscal Monitor.