Most individuals don’t have to worry if their signature is messy, but according to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, it’s best to practice if your name will be on a USD ($1) note.
“It’s customary that Treasury secretaries provide their signature to be featured on our nation’s currency,” Yellen, the first woman to hold the position, stated at a ceremony to reveal new notes carrying her name, “You’d think this would be a straightforward process, but the founding fathers did not account for what seems to be a common attribute for Treasury secretaries: terrible handwriting.”
Two of her predecessors, Tim Geithner and Jack Lew, had autographs that were “so unreadable that people made fun of them,” Yellen had previously said in a TV interview.
She made light of the fact that Geithner “famously had to modify his signature to make it legible” on Thursday.
She continued, “I’ll admit: I spent some serious time perfecting my signature.”
The new notes unveiled on Thursday will be historic not only because Yellen, the first female Treasury secretary, is listed as the signatory, but also because US Treasurer Marilynn Malerba is also listed.
“Today is not about me or the addition of a new signature to our money. It’s about our collective work to create a stronger and more inclusive economy,” Yellen said in a speech at the Fort Worth, Texas money printing facility.
According to the Treasury Department, the notes will be delivered to the US Federal Reserve this month and will go into circulation at the beginning of 2023.
Currently, she said, women hold positions of power and make up about 62 percent of the Treasury’s workforce.
But, Yellen continued, a lot more needs to be done.
“I hope that today serves as a reminder of the path toward equity and inclusion that we have taken. And I hope it inspires us to keep advancing,” she said.
Additionally, Malerba’s signature is the first Native American woman’s to appear on US currency.
Malerba said, “This moment is history.”
The first currency (USD) to enter circulation with Yellen and Malerba’s signatures will be $1 and $5 bills.
The only other facility for printing the USD, besides the one in Texas, is in Washington, D.C.