Fed Presidents Kaplan, Rosengren to Sell Individual Stock Holdings to Address Ethics Concerns

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Federal Reserve regional presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren said Thursday they will sell individual stock holdings amid ethics concerns regarding trading in 2020.

The Fed officials will sell all their stocks by Sept. 30 and put the proceeds in passive investments, they said in statements released Thursday.

"While my personal saving and investment transactions have complied with the Federal Reserve's ethics rules, I have decided to address even the appearance of any conflict of interest by taking the following steps," Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed, said.

The two officials also pledged to not trade stocks will serving as Fed presidents.

The announcements come after the Fed officials faced scrutiny surrounding investment activity in a year when central bank actions propped up financial markets during the Covid pandemic.

A financial disclosure form from Dallas Fed President Kaplan raised eyebrows this week by revealing a number of million-dollar trades in individual stocks last year including Apple, Amazon and Delta Airlines. Kaplan owned a total of 32 individual stock, fund or alternative asset holdings, with 27 of those valued at more than $1 million at the end of 2020, according to the disclosure.

The form was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Rosengren and Kaplan serve as presidents of two of the Fed's 12 regional banks that span the country. The regional bank presidents take turns serving on the Federal Open Market Committee that sets rates policy.

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