Facing questions on trades, Fed Vice Chair to leave early

NEW YORK (AFP/APP): Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida announced Monday he will exit the US central bank early following questions over his equity trading activity early in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Clarida, whose term on the Board of Governors was set to expire on January 31, will instead resign on January 14. He gave no explanation for the accelerated departure, but said in a resignation letter he was “proud” to have helped steer “the economy away from depression.”
Clarida faced heightened scrutiny following reports last week that he undertook additional stock fund trades in February 2020 that appeared to contradict earlier explanations about his trading activities.
The latest questions came after amended financial disclosure forms were reported by The New York Times.
Earlier Monday, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, had called on Fed Chair Jerome Powell to “immediately release” all information relating to the trades.
“The revelations raise concerns that Clarida may have been trading on inside information related to planned policy moves, and that the Fed has failed to disclose the full scope of officials’ trading practices to the public,” Warren said.
Powell is due to appear Tuesday at a confirmation hearing over his renomination as Fed Chair before the Senate Banking Committee, of which Warren is a member. The central bank in October announced stricter investment rules after the resignations of two regional Fed presidents over trading activities.
A former economics professor at Columbia University, Clarida won senate confirmation for the vice chair position in September 2018. On Monday, Powell praised Clarida, saying “Rich’s contributions to our monetary policy deliberations, and his leadership of the Fed’s first-ever public review of our monetary policy framework, will leave a lasting impact in the field of central banking.”