Fed President Who Came Under Fire for Market Trades Will Retire Early

Eric S. Rosengren, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, is accelerating a long-planned retirement. He cited a health issue.,

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A Federal Reserve president who came under fire for his 2020 trades will retire early.

Mr. Rosengren traded in real estate investment trust in 2020, a year in which the Fed was active in markets and he helped set policy.Credit…Steven Senne/Associated Press

Sept. 27, 2021Updated 10:17 a.m. ET

A Federal Reserve Bank president who recently came under fire for securities trading he engaged in last year, when the central bank was active in rescuing financial markets from the pandemic crisis, said he would retire nine months ahead of schedule.

Eric S. Rosengren, who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will retire Sept. 30, he said in a news release. Mr. Rosengren said that he was retiring to try to prevent a kidney condition from worsening, to stave off dialysis.

“Eric has distinguished himself time and again during more than three decades of dedicated public service in the Federal Reserve System,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said in a statement released alongside the news.

Mr. Rosengren was one of two Fed presidents whose financial activity in 2020 had drawn scrutiny in recent weeks. He held stakes in real estate investment trusts and listed purchases and sales in those, at a time when he was warning publicly about risks in the commercial real estate market and helping to set policy on mortgage backed security purchases.

His colleague, Robert S. Kaplan at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, gained attention for buying and selling millions of dollars in individual stocks, among other investments. Both presidents had previously announced that they would convert their financial holdings into broad-based indexes and cash by Sept. 30.

The watchdog group Better Markets has been calling for the Fed to fire both presidents if they do not resign, in light of their activity.

Mr. Rosengren has been president of the Boston Fed since 2007, and his retirement was previously planned for June 2022. The Fed’s 12 regional members rotate in and out of voting seats, and Mr. Rosengren would have had a vote on monetary policy next year.

Kenneth C. Montgomery, the Boston Fed’s first vice president, will serve as interim president. The Boston Fed’s board members — excluding bank representatives — will need to select a permanent pick for president, subject to approval from the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington.

A longtime Fed employee who worked in research and bank supervision before becoming president, Mr. Rosengren played a key role in the 2020 crisis response. His regional Fed ran both the money market mutual fund and Main Street lending backstop programs that the Fed rolled out last year.

The Boston Fed noted in the release that Mr. Rosengren hoped that his health condition would improve, and that he would be able to “explore areas of professional interest” in the future.

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