Sep 27, 2021 - Economy & Business

Two top Fed officials retire amid criticism over investment activities

Photo of the U.S. Federal Reserve building with two flags at the top
Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two top Federal Reserve officials are stepping down after facing backlash for their investment activities.

Why it matters: Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan have been embroiled in controversy since it was disclosed that the two owned assets sensitive to the monetary policy they were helping shape in 2020.

  • Both noted that their actions didn't violate the Fed's codes of conduct, but said they would sell the stocks by the end of the month to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

What they're saying: "The Federal Reserve is approaching a critical point in our economic recovery as it deliberates the future path of monetary policy," Kaplan said in a statement.

  • "Unfortunately, the recent focus on my financial disclosure risks becoming a distraction to the Federal Reserve’s execution of that vital work," he added. "For that reason, I have decided to retire," effective Oct. 8, 2021.

Rosengren announced that he would move his planned retirement from June 2022 to Sept. 30 this year. He cited health concerns, including the need for a kidney transplant, as the reason for his departure.

  • He did not mention the controversy over his trading.

The big picture: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has ordered a review of ethics rules concerning senior central bank officials' personal financial activities, CNBC reports.

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