(Reuters) – Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday called on the US Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate trade with US central banks, including the presidents of two Fed banks who resigned following public revolt over their transactions.
In a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, Warren also quoted trade with Fed Vice President Richard Clarida in February 2020, shortly before Fed Chairman Jerome Powell issued a warning about the risks from the coronavirus and promised a Fed response if necessary.
"The reports of this financial activity by Fed officials raise serious questions about possible conflicts of interest and reveal a lack of respect for public confidence," Warren wrote in the letter, which was published.
A SEC spokesman declined to comment.
The Fed launched its own review of ethics and trade rules last month following revelations that Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren had traded real estate securities and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan had traded millions of dollars of private equity last year, even though the Fed made a bailout of the U.S. economy and financial markets with massive purchases of treasuries and mortgage bonds.
Both said they had followed the Fed.
Separately, the Fed said it had initiated discussions in last week with his office as Inspector General to investigate whether trade in "Some senior officials" complied with ethical rules and the law.
"We welcome this review and will accept and take appropriate action based on its findings," a Fed spokesman said.
Mr. Rosengren left his job last week with reference to a kidney condition. Kaplan will go on Friday.