Boston Federal Reserve Chairman Eric Rosengren retires

The economist, who has been president of the Boston Federal Reserve for the past 14 years and was recently scrutinized for his pandemic stock trading, announced Monday morning that he is retiring this week to treat a medical condition that has “significantly” worsened during the pandemic.

Eric Rosengren’s retirement on September 30 comes about nine months before his 65th birthday, and thus his mandatory retirement as head of the country’s central bank’s New England Territory.

It will open a powerful position that has been occupied by two people for nearly 30 years at a time when the Federal Reserve was engaged in guiding the economy through a pandemic.

In his resignation letter, Rosengren said his kidney function “has declined so dramatically that I qualified for a kidney transplant list in June of 2020”.

“It has become clear that I should aim to reduce my stress so that I can focus on my health problems, and postpone my need for dialysis for as long as possible,” Rosengren wrote to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

“It is equally important that the Boston Fed and the Federal Reserve System focus on what is important — to return the economy to full employment and to carry out the important work that the Boston Fed is doing.”

Rosengren has been in a hot spot lately after his 2020 REIT trading, during a time when his organization had a major impact on the markets, came to light. Concerns about Rosengren’s trading, along with similar issues regarding the Dallas Fed chief, have led the central bank to take another look at its ethics code.

Kenneth Montgomery, Boston Fed’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, will take over as interim CEO and president later this week. The bank said that “preparations are underway to conduct the search for the next head of the bank” since Rosengren was forced to retire by June 2022.

Rosengren joined the Boston Federal Reserve as an economist in 1985 and served as Head of Supervision, Regulation and Credit before succeeding Cathy Minahan as President in 2007. Minahan served as President at the Boston Fed for 13 years after Richard Cerrone’s tenure. Boston is one of 12 regional reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System.

– Colin A. Young / SHNS

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