Omicron variant: Stocks rebound after plunge


Jason Ryan, Staff

Header Image: New York Times

The stock market rebounds after the temporary plunge as investors assess the economic risk from the new Omicron Variant of COVID-19. 

Confirmed cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have on Friday continued to grow around the world, triggering the discovery as a strain on many countries to try and seal themselves off by imposing travel restrictions, while also sending stocks tumbling and causing oil prices to fall.

That being said, stocks have made a comeback Monday, bouncing back from the steep selloff last Friday where investors feared the Omicron COVID variant would disrupt the global economic rebound. Reports of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus brought back memories of last summer when the fast-spreading Delta variant put a major dent in the recovery of the stock market. This discovery spooked investors on a traditionally quiet day in the market following Thanksgiving, leading to one of the worst days for stocks this year.

The most powerful lift for stocks came from those that have been able to grow strongly almost regardless of the economy’s strength or pandemic’s pall. Gains for five big tech-oriented stocks — Microsoft, Tesla, Apple, Amazon and Nvidia — which alone accounted for more than a third of the S&P 500’s rise. The gains for tech-oriented stocks also helped to drive the Nasdaq composite up a market-leading 1.9 percent.

The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent to recover more than half of its drop from Friday, which was its worst since February. Treasury bond yields, which fell Friday as investors were gunning for safety, reversed course and rose Monday. In particular, the 10-year U.S. government bond yielded 1.52 percent when the New York Stock Exchange closed.

Travel-related stocks started the day Monday with gains but fell back as more caution filtered into the market and as travel restrictions around the world remained in force. They closed mixed after President Joe Biden said he was not considering a widespread U.S. lockdown. He stated the variant was a cause for concern and “not a cause for panic.” That being said, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines closed slightly lower, while cruise line operators Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines actually notched gains.

While the market has steadied itself, uneasiness still hangs over it due to the discovery of the variant, as the virus appears to spread more easily, and countries around the world have put up barriers to travel in hopes of slowing it. Still to be seen is how effective currently available vaccines are for the variant, and how long it may take to develop new Omicron-specific vaccines. It is evident that the Omicron variant is hitting markets less hard than other COVID variants, but just as the market quickly bounced back from its Delta fears, history appears to be repeating itself: investors are taking a breath and sensing a buying opportunity.

Coke pays $5.6 billion for control of BodyArmor


Gibson McMonagle, Staff

PepsiCo Outpaces Coca-Cola 3-to-1 in Sports Drink |


After Coke’s initial investment in the startup company BodyArmor, they decided to take full control with a $5.6 billion buyout. 

Prior to this week, the Coca-Cola Company owned 15 percent of BodyArmor. One of the leading rivals to Gatorade, BodyArmor was a startup company that began in 2011. The company promotes their drink to contain natural flavors and sweeteners with no colors from artificial sources. Their first big investor was Kobe Bryant in 2013. He paved the way for more athletes like James Harden and Mike Trout to help support the small company grow larger. Starting in 2018, the Coca-Cola Company became their second largest investor behind the creator of BodyArmor Mike Repole. 

On top of BodyArmor having their original sports drink, they also introduced BodyArmor Lyte. This drink is said to have the same nutrients of a regular bottle of BodyArmor but has only 20 calories and two grams of sugar per bottle. They also have released BodyArmor Sports water. This drink was said to be created for those who have an active lifestyle with a performance pH of 9+ and electrolytes for exercise. These two drinks plus the original BodyArmor sports drink allowed for high sales throughout the year. 

It is now being announced that the Coca-Cola Company is fully buying BodyArmor for $5.6 billion. This company went from a small startup to a multibillion-dollar company within 10 years. For context, Kobe Bryant initially invested $6 million back in 2013, and his investment today is worth over $400 million.  

Coke’s biggest rival, Pepsi, has been dominating the sports drink market due to Pepsi owning Gatorade. Gatorade in the past year had a 64 percent market share of U.S. sports drinks according to the Wall Street Journal. BodyArmor had 18 percent of sales, and Powerade had 13 percent. Coca-Cola now owns both Powerade and BodyArmor. 

Coke is always trying to increase their product line to compete with Pepsi. They are trying to challenge Gatorade with the purchase of BodyArmor. An editor of Beverage Digest, Duane Stanford, states, “Coke can try to sandwich Gatorade between BodyArmor, a more premium brand, and Powerade, which is more of a value brand.” 

The purchase of BodyArmor, in addition to their already owned brands like Powerade, Dasani water and Gold Peak tea brings a different strategy for Coke. They no longer have to be reliant on just the sodas they own like Fanta, Sprite and their very own Coca-Cola. They have branched off to other drinks, expanding their product line — this to compete with their largest competitor, PepsiCo.

Shiba Inu gets in top 10 cryptocurrencies, surpasses dogecoin


Jason Ryan, Staff

Dogecoin struggles to keep pace with shiba inu's record-breaking surge even  as Elon Musk boosts his favorite cryptocurrency | Currency News | Financial  and Business News | Markets Insider

Market Insider

Digital cryptocurrency token Shiba Inu has jumped into the top 10 most valuable digital assets by market value, surpassing its inspiration, Dogecoin. 

The recent trading frenzy over a digital token called Shiba Inu — commonly promoted as a “meme” or joke coin in the crypto world — has jumped the canine-themed cryptocurrency into the top 10 most valuable digital assets by market value, hitting over $39 billion and surpassing its cousin and apparent inspiration, Dogecoin.

Since Wednesday, both Dogecoin and Shiba have frequently swapped places in the rankings, competing in what many would call a rivalry between the two. In fact, the Shiba Inu community actually refers to the crypto token as the “Dogecoin killer”.

As of Monday afternoon, Dogecoin, which was launched in 2013 as a joke, ranks No. 10 in cryptocurrencies with a market value of over $35 billion, according to CoinGecko.  Likewise, Shiba Inu, which launched in 2020 to poke fun at dogecoin, now ranks at No. 9 with a market value of over $39 billion. Shiba Inu hit an all-time high of $0.00008990 this past Monday.

Moreover, Shiba is up another 10 percent at midday this past Monday after its leap last week which had more than doubled in value. With this, most of that gain came in a flurry of trading last Wednesday, when it gained a whopping 66 percent. Besides, Shibu is in fact up about 900 percent in the past month.

Each Shiba coin costs just a tiny fraction of one cent; however, to put in simpler terms: if you were to have bought $1,000 worth of Shiba Inu in late September, your value of 20 million coins would now be worth around $9,000.

Both Shiba’s and Dogecoin’s growth can be largely credited to supporters hyping them up. It is the power of the people who are intensifying them that drives the performance of the coin a lot of the time, including celebrity supporters like billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. Musk often tweets about different cryptocurrencies, and in doing so, has seemingly impacted their prices.

For example, a few times throughout 2021, Shiba has appeared to leap after Musk repeatedly posted images of his Shiba Inu puppy on Twitter; however, interestingly enough, on Oct. 24, Musk did clarify that he does not own any Shiba Inu tokens and that he only owns bitcoin, etherium and Dogecoin.

Overall, the current surge in Shiba Inu can be seen as very much community-driven, and it is clear to see any token or coin out there has the opportunity to run up like this if someone with a big microphone is amplifying it — case in point is Shiba Inu. Created in August 2020, it  has taken less than two years to become a contender for a top 10 cryptocurrency spot.    

Warren and Charlie meet in sunny California


Michael D’Angelo, Staff

Vintage Value Investing

Pictured above is Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO Warren Buffet and Executive Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. Both men practice a value investing strategy and have created impressive returns for their shareholders.

Over the weekend, Berkshire Hathaway held their annual shareholder meeting in Los Angeles, California. For the first time ever in the company’s long history, they held a shareholder meeting outside of Omaha, Nebraska. The meeting was headed by Berkshire’s executive staff, CEO and Chairman Warren Buffet and Executive Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. 

Both Buffett and Munger are hailed as some of the greatest investors of all time. They believe in a value investing strategy influenced by the principles of Benjamin Graham. Graham is most famous for developing the Margin of Safety principle and for writing the finance classic “The Intelligent Investor.” In addition, they are greatly influenced by the strategies of Phil Fisher, the author of “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” who famously believed the best time to sell a stock is never. Buffett and Munger emphasize a long-term investing strategy with an emphasis of finding “cheap” companies that appear to be trading below book value in the market. They own portions of great American corporations like Coca-Cola, Apple, Bank of America, Verizon and American Express.             

At the meeting, Buffett and Munger fielded and answered various questions. With their growing age, they confirmed their eventual successor: Greg Abel, a current Vice Chairman, will take over as CEO and direct operations. Buffet emphasized his belief around stock picking for the average investor. He stated, “I do not think the average person can pick stocks.” His suggestion, instead, was to diversify into American equities and purchase a fund which follows the performance of the S&P 500. Buffet has made this point plenty of times in the past. 

Both Buffett and Munger took jabs at the recent rise in SPACs and believe more people are turning to the market in a gambling-like sense. Buffet even went as far as calling SPACs an “exaggerated form of gambling.” A SPAC is a company that raises money through an initial public offering (IPO) with no commercial operations to acquire another existing company. They grew in popularity in 2020 as both a speculative investment and a way for companies to raise capital. 

To add to the sense of increased gambling in the markets, Buffett and Munger stated their opinions about online trading app Robinhood. They both said the app encourages gambling due to the easy access of speculative call and put options. Munger even called the app shameful. In the past, they criticized Robinhood’s selling of order flow data and commission free trades. An executive from Robinhood responded by saying “the people are tired of the Buffets and Mungers of the world acting like they are the only oracles of investing.” The most controversial statement of the weekend was when Munger took a strong jab at cryptocurrency. He went so far as to say Bitcoin’s success is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization. In the past he has called Bitcoin “worthless artificial gold.” 

The meeting concluded and many people took an opportunity to analyze both Buffet and Munger’s statements. Both men have led Berkshire for decades with expectational investment returns and their statements may prove important for investors looking for guidance. 

Hottest new craze to hit markets: bubble investing


Bill O’Brien, Editor


The 2000 market crash often referred to as the “dot com bubble” was great for investors exposing their portfolio to the tech industry, realizing very high returns for a time. What happened after is irrelevant.

With financial markets experiencing depressed fixed income yields and spreads, investors have had to get creative when it comes to portfolio strategy and turning a buck during the pandemic. Luckily, some investors have hopped on a new wave that is surely keeping them hype and, at least emotionally, invested in the market. Bubble investing has been around since the inception of supply and demand markets, but never have investors been jumping through hoops for insanely overvalued investments like they have been today.

David Portnoy, Chief Market Strategist at Barstool Sports, or “Stool Presidente,” as his analysts call him, is the pioneer of the portfolio strategy. “Say it you cowards. Stocks only go up. Stocks only go up. Say the words Ron. I am your King,” Portnoy iterates time and time again in his annual research report to clients via Twitter. Sophisticated retail investors were quick to adopt Portnoy’s market strategies, flooding securities with, virtually, no cash flow, like Gamestop (NYSE: GME) and AMC Theatres (NYSE: AMC), realizing massive returns in the process (if one bought early enough, but that part’s irrelevant).

Even Fed Chair Jerome Powell has had a lot to say about asset valuations in markets to reporters after the Fed’s latest Federal Open Market Committee Hearing. “The market’s hot, baby, the market’s RED HOT. Fed’s getting in on this for sure, Gamestop to the moon, diamond hands my friends, DIAMOND HANDS.” Since the hearing, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is valued at approximately $7.72 trillion. Sources at the Fed confirm Powell has been pressuring analysts at the Reserve’s New York trading desks to “get their diamond hands on GME pronto.” 

The Fed’s aggressive buying sprees have prompted some backlash among junior analysts working at the Central Bank. One analyst spoke to Collegian reporters on the condition of anonymity, “I sit at a desk and buy as many junk bonds as I can until the early morning. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep… At this point, I would rather be worked to an early grave by DJ D-Sol at Goldman.”


Powell responded to analysts’ claims of overwork with personal attacks. “Kids these days got no gumption, no spirit. Back in my day, we fueled financial crises 18 hours a day. We didn’t get Peloton bikes as participation awards either. Buncha pansies if you ask me.”

Anyways, what was I writing about again? Oh right, the 2020-21 bubble investing trend (craze). Bubble investing has been a mixed bag depending on who you are. If you’re an ambitious investor with a lot to lose and not a lot of know-how, then chances are this trend is perfect for you. Plus, you’ll be able to tell your friends you’re “in the market” at least for as long as your positions last. The future of investing is looking bright as of April 2021. Whether that bright light is a beautiful sunrise on the horizon or a nuclear bomb exploding in the distance, coming to vaporize all of our highly leveraged market positions, well, I guess that’s up to you to decide. Until next time, as the once-great Ben Affleck said in a famous coming-of-age movie, Good Will Hunting, “the business we have, here-to-for, you can speak to my aforementioned attorney. Good day, gentlemen, and until that day comes, keep your ear to the grindstone.” This is investing.

The Oracle of Omaha speaks — Financial Commentary


Michael D’Angelo, Staff

USA Today

Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, Warren Buffett (right), and Vice Chairman, Charles Munger (left). Buffet is famously referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha.” His value investing strategies have created impressive returns for his company, which he views as a “collection of businesses.”

Warren Buffett is a big name in the financial sector. He is known for his down to earth approach when it comes to investing and his frugal personality despite being worth billions. 

Buffett is the definition of the old-school Midwesterner who places his hope and confidence in his fellow Americans. He disdains Wall Street, instead choosing to operate his infamous holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, from Omaha, Nebraska. He is so frugal he chooses to purchase a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich with exact change every day before he goes into the office but chooses the cheaper option if the markets performed poorly the day prior. In addition, he still lives in the same house that he purchased in the early 1950s. 

Buffett accumulated his wealth by practicing a value investment strategy he learned from Benjamin Graham. This strategy relies on analyzing a company’s book value to determine if it is worth less than the market price. If this occurs, the stock is considered to be an undervalued and a cheap option. Buffett emphasizes buying cheap companies with value and knowing how the company operates. Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway own shares of major companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, General Motors and Verizon. 

In the past week, both Buffett and his company have been popping up over news headlines in many financial publications. This is due to the release of Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders and Berkshire’s 2020 annual report. I had the opportunity to read through Buffett’s letter  and despite some criticism regarding the letter to be socially tone-deaf, I believe he is spot on and paves a strong future for Berkshire Hathaway. 

In the letter, Buffett begins by detailing Berkshire’s earnings of $42.5 billion, then he jumps to emphasizing Berkshire’s retained earnings which he believes are building “value and lots of value.” Both Buffett and Charlie Munger, Buffett’s Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway, view Berkshire as a collection of businesses in which the firm has invested in the “long-term prosperity” of those businesses’ success. He writes in the letter that Berkshire’s main goal is to own parts of, or all of, a diverse group of businesses with good economic characteristics and good management. 

As the letter moves on, Buffett sheds light on a mistake he made in purchasing aerospace company; Precision Castparts. He paid the wrong price for the company and misjudged the average amount of future earnings. Also, Buffett takes a shot at bonds and says that fixed income investors face a bleak future. To increase Berkshire’s profitability, Buffett repurchased back 80,998 A class shares and spent $24.7 billion in the process.  

Despite not addressing the pandemic, social justice protests, and other events of the past year, Buffett confidently concludes, “never bet against America.” Also, he ridicules market gurus and says they can find equities to fit their tastes instead of buying Berkshire. He goes on to describe investing as a positive-sum game where even a monkey can randomly toss darts at a board of S&P 500 companies and profit. This is certainly a response to bull market and retail trader enthusiasm since March. Buffet the letter iterating plans to meet with his best friend, Munger, in Los Angeles and to host the annual meeting on May 1. 

I enjoyed reading the letter and I agree with the legendary investor, we should have faith in America. We need to look forward to our country’s prosperity, despite so many obstacles in our way. After all, why bet against America? A country which holds a report card of economic success and entrepreneurial prosperity achieved by generations.

Don’t be afraid of stocks: an examination of financial bubbles and their history


Michael D’Angelo, Staff


Pictured above is the price index of Tulips from the infamous Tulip bubble burst of the 1600s in the Dutch Netherlands. The tulip bubble burst is the first ever recorded financial bubble in history.

Chances are if you checked the financial markets on Tuesday morning, indices were in the red. Many investors were concerned with a large federal stimulus package, the recent rise in commodities, and a rise in the 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond. Headlines regarding Michael Burry’s prediction about hyperinflation, Treasury Bonds, and WTI Crude Oil exploding to over $60 a barrel flooded the news on Monday and investors were alarmed. Tuesday’s open saw the tech heavy NASDAQ dropping nearly 3 percent. 

Amid growing concerns among investors, talks of a potential financial bubble, which occurs when asset prices become based on inconsistent and irrational views about the future, surfaced and Ray Dalio’s bubble indicator found 50 of the 1,000 biggest companies are in extreme bubbles. Although this is only half of the companies considered in a bubble from the Dot Com burst, investors should certainly take notice but not let news headlines deter from their equity investing.

Nonetheless, financial bubbles and investor psychology is still a fascinating topic. I recently became interested in the concept of financial bubbles after picking up a copy of the novel, Irrational Exuberance by Economist J.D. Shiller. In his book, Shiller accurately predicted the housing crisis and suggests monetary policy tools to ease the consequences of financial bubbles. The term “Irrational Exuberance” was coined by former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, in the late 1980s. Below is the  breakdown and examination of the history of bubbles.

Financial bubbles have occurred all throughout history; In the 1630s, the Dutch went crazy for Tulip bulbs. The price soared from 1636 to 1637 and many went so far as selling their homes to purchase the simple garden plant. Eventually, the mass hysteria surrounding tulips faded and the price of tulips declined 90 percent.. 

Do you remember Isaac Newton, the pioneer of the concept of gravity? Well, Newton was burned hard and lost a fortune when the South Sea Company bubble burst in the 1720s. The South Sea Company was promised a monopoly by the British government to trade in South American colonies. British investors dived headfirst into the South Sea and the stock reached a high over 1,000 pounds and then came down after news of fraud and the monopoly fell out. 

Bubbles are no phenomena to the past as we have seen in the modern era. The Japanese real estate and equity markets exploded in the late 1980s and then came down.  The Dotcom bubble occurred in the United States in the late 1990s to early 2000s when investors dived into tech and internet stocks. The most recent bubble occurred with the U.S. housing market in the late 2000s to 2010s. Housing prices increased dramatically leading many investors to falsely believe the inability of the housing market to crash. The market declined dramatically, due to an excess of subprime mortgage loans, followed by the global recession due to mortgage securitization. 

History certainly has a knack of repeating itself and we could be seeing another bubble occur in any sector of the economy. With bubbles and investor mania creating a collapse of asset prices, the key to surviving the next bubble is to rely less on weekend worrying, where we, as retail investors or institutional investors, absorb weekly  news on the weekend leading to a belief in an economic doom at the start of a new week. To take from Peter Lynch, we should not get scared out of stocks.

Robinhood’s Long Nightmare Ahead


Michael D’Angelo, Staff


Robinhood can be accessed by retail investors anywhere from their mobile phone. Robinhood boasts giving investors autonomy over their finances with low barriers to entry and nonexistent brokerage fees.

The old English tale of Robinhood has been passed down for generations and describes a story of populism where a legion of men equipped with bow and arrow take from the rich and give to the poor. Fast forward to the 21st century and Robinhood is known as a discount brokerage firm used by many new investors and retail traders. You may have heard in the past few weeks that Robinhood was at the center of the GameStop saga or you caught their Superbowl ad during the game, chances are you have heard of the investing app. The news certainly is filled with Robinhood headlines lately. 

            Introduced in March 2015, the platform gained popularity with their approach of having no commission fee investing. The story of Robinhood began with Stanford roommates Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev. Both worked on Wall Street for a period of time, designing software, until the two decided they needed a change. They founded Robinhood with the purpose of eliminating barriers for the little guy and democratizing investing. Since Robinhood’s inception, the app now boasts well over 10 million users, but the company has been struggling with a public relations nightmare since the start of the year. 

            When the pandemic began in March, many people with strong gambling tendencies turned to both the stock market and the internet. They chose Robinhood as their choice of brokerage and they flocked to a reddit forum known as Reddit Wall Street Bets (WSB). Headlines popped up from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and, most notably,  the Collegian about some of these traders and their impact on the financial markets. Robinhood was picking up some negative publicity at the time with complaints of slow software, minimal customer service support and hidden fees. They were even threatened with a lawsuit surrounding high frequency trading data and hedge funds. In addition, a Robinhood user committed suicide after an in-app glitch showed he was in the red for over $700k. Currently, Robinhood is faced with a pending lawsuit from the individual’s family. 

            But things went from bad to worse at the start of 2021. Users from Reddit WSB saw that hedge funds were heavily shorting GameStop (GME). Retail investors flocked to reddit and called for many to buy shares into GME. As many bought shares and GME’s stock price flew over $300 a share, Robinhood entered a cash crisis. They ran out of cash to clear trades with the Depository Trust Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and Robinhood changed orders of GME to sell only, after only a few days the stock price declined heavily. In that short period of trading, they were forced to raise $3.4 billion. 

            The world erupted and many were livid. They took to social media websites like Instagram, Reddit and Tik Tok preaching that Robinhood violated their rights to trade. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 100 Robinhood related complaints between Jan. 24th to Feb 2nd and in response to the criticism, Robinhood issued a statement. They described a DTCC clearing issue and then aired a commercial during the Super Bowl promoting their slogan, “We are all investors.” The commercial did very little to help the company and many continued to complain over social media. 

            With a public relations nightmare on their hands, the company might be forced to postpone their plans to go public in the second quarter, but, as of now, Robinhood is in full swing to go public this year. They are currently valued at $20 billion or more. With the public’s frustration, Robinhood’s future is in question. If Robinhood is to continue on, they must update their customer service, apologize to the angry masses, and make right to achieve change in the financial sector. 

Janet Yellen Confirmed as Next United States Treasury Secretary


Elizabeth McLaughlin, Staff

The Washington Post

Janet Yellen, pictured above, was recently confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan, 84-15 vote, making her the 78th Secretary of the US Treasury and first woman to hold the position.

She got her undergraduate degree in Economics from Brown University and then a PhD in the same field from Yale. From there, she taught economics as a professor at Harvard. After that, she researched international monetary policy as an economist with the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. She taught at London School of Economics and University of California, Berkeley. She was confirmed unanimously by the Senate to chair the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton. Then, she became the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, as well as a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee. From there, she graduated to the vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and eventually the chair of the Federal Reserve — the first female to hold that position. As if that weren’t enough, she became a distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution. She holds nine honorary degrees ranging from a doctorate in science to a doctorate in philosophy. Her name is Janet Yellen, and her most recent accomplishment to be added to an already long list is being confirmed as the newest secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury.

Janet Yellen is the first female treasury secretary and the first person ever to lead the three most powerful economic bodies in the United States government: the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the White House Council of Economic Advisers. She was confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 25 in a bipartisan vote of  84-15. In her role as Fed chair, Yellen was well-liked by both Democrats and Republicans. Her ability to appeal to both sides of the aisle will likely bode well for the Biden administration, which begins amidst unprecedented partisan tension.

Yellen is a Keynesian economist and considered by many to be a dove, which is another way of saying she is generally more concerned with unemployment than with inflation. She received criticism for keeping interest rates too low for too long in her capacity as chair of the Federal Reserve. Some of her opponents admit that she can act more as a hawk by hiking interest rates if necessary.

As Yellen steps into her role as treasury secretary, she inherits a hefty to-do list: propose and pass another fiscal stimulus bill, advise President Biden on carbon tax policy, maintain the dollar as the world’s international reserve currency, provide insight on long-term economic recovery post-Covid-19…the list goes on. Some of these issues may appear more immediately pressing than others — Americans have been waiting months for much-needed and adequate stimulus. Regardless, Yellen will play a key role in bolstering a floundering economy.

On Jan. 20, Yellen appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Finance to persuade lawmakers to pass President Biden’s $1.9-trillion Covid-19 relief plan. The plan includes increasing the minimum wage and expanding family and medical leave — two policies that do not have strong Republican support. Yellen believes that “we have a long way to go before our economy recovers,” so Congress must “act big” to support millions of struggling American families.

Another item on Yellen’s agenda is climate action. For years, Yellen has opined that climate change poses a risk to global financial stability indicating that she will “act big” on climate action in her role as treasury secretary. Her support for a carbon tax goes all the way back to her time as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. In addition, she co-founded a nonpartisan, international think tank called the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), which advocates for a carbon tax of around $40 a ton and increases 5 percent each year. In turn, this tax would filter back into American pockets in order to offset the costs of increased energy prices. Moreover, the CLC advocates for penalties on carbon-intensive products in the form of border-adjustable taxes on imports. The plan has drawn some criticism from progressive climate activists and groups and, perhaps deservingly so; ExxonMobil and Shell were quick to sign on as “founding corporate members” of the plan. Beyond that, Yellen plans on pushing for emissions reductions. She does not believe that a carbon tax alone is enough to address climate change and ensure global financial stability. In her capacity as treasury secretary, Yellen could establish a national green bank to encourage investment in sustainable infrastructure. She could also pressure international financial institutions to divest from fossil fuels.

Yellen’s bipartisan confirmation by the Senate represents a marked shift in the political and economic cultures we have grown accustomed to for the past four years. An exceptionally qualified expert with a robust resume has been appointed to a cabinet-level position with support from both parties. Her appointment is uncontroversial, expected, and comforting; three adjectives we could all use a little more of these days. The only thing lengthier than her impressive curriculum vitae? Her to-do list.