Fed’s Vice Chair Defends His ‘Integrity’ After Trading Revelations
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida, defending his reputation after disclosures about his trading activity last year, said he had always upheld the highest standards of public service.
“I have always acquitted myself honorably and with integrity in respect to the obligations of public service,” Clarida said Tuesday in his first public comment since the revelations drew a demand for an insider trading probe.
Clarida, noting that he had served across four administrations, made no direct reference to his trading activity. These were referenced by Senator Elizabeth Warren in an Oct. 4 letter she wrote to the Securities Exchange Commission asking it to investigate whether stock transactions by top Fed officials violated insider trading rules.
Warren cited an Oct. 1 Bloomberg News report that Clarida’s 2020 financial disclosures show he traded between $1 million and $5 million out of a bond fund into stock funds one day before Chair Jerome Powell issued a statement flagging possible policy action as the pandemic worsened. Two regional Fed chiefs recently announced their departures following revelations about their trading activity last year.
A Fed spokesman said that Clarida’s transactions, which were released in mid-May, were a “pre-planned rebalancing to his accounts, similar to a rebalancing he did and reported in April 2019,” and were “executed prior to his involvement in deliberations on Federal Reserve actions to respond to the emergence of the coronavirus and not during a blackout period.”
Clarida’s tenure on the Fed ends Jan. 31. Asked about his priorities in his remaining time at the central bank, Clarida said he was focused on supporting a “rapid return to maximum employment but also very much taking seriously the price stability leg of our dual mandate.”
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