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The Wall Street Journal: Fed’s Kaplan, Rosengren to sell stocks to avoid perception of conflict of interest

The leaders of the Boston and Dallas Federal Reserve Banks said they would sell off individual stocks they own, invest the proceeds in diversified indexed funds or cash savings and cease trading in individual securities.

The Thursday announcement comes after the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas this week disclosed that its president, Robert Kaplan, bought and sold millions of dollars in stocks and other investments in 2020. A disclosure from the Boston Fed showed that its president, Eric Rosengren, also was an active trader last year, albeit at a smaller scale.

Both men defended their actions as consistent with their respective bank’s code of conduct policies, but said they didn’t wish to create any perception that their trading of securities and investments would conflict with their role in setting monetary policy. Both men said the sale of their holdings would be complete by Sept. 30.

Since Friday, all 12 of the Fed’s regional banks have provided disclosures of their leaders’ 2020 financial profiles.

Kaplan and Rosengren said they would stop trading in markets they way they did last year. In his statement, Rosengren said, “The appearance of such permissible personal investment decisions has generated some questions, so I have made the decision to divest these assets to underscore my commitment to Fed ethics guidelines. It is extremely important to me to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, and I believe these steps will achieve that.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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