American central bank: Jerome Powell also blamed for stock market transactions in the midst of a crisis

The president of the American central bank (Fed), Jerome Powell, is in turn blamed for major stock transactions carried out during the economic crisis linked to COVID-19. Unwelcome revelations while he is still waiting to know if he will be reappointed for a second term.

Jerome Powell sold on the stock market on 1er October 2020 part of its assets, and recovered between $ 1 and $ 5 million in cash, according to official documents available online. “Withdrawals [de liquidités] were intended to cover family expenses, ”a Fed spokesperson told AFP on Tuesday.

Several officials of the institution have already been blamed for their stock market transactions, and two of them recently resigned, while a review of the ethics rules was launched.

The stocks sold by Jerome Powell were held in the Vanguard Total Stock Market index fund, which brings together various companies listed on the US stock exchange, and does not target any particular sector. But these transactions, carried out just before a fall on Wall Street, fuel suspicions of conflicts of interest.

Jerome Powell’s transactions exposed by the progressive site The American Prospect, which calls not to renew him in office, while Democrats remain divided on whether or not to offer him a second term. The left wing of the party is campaigning for Joe Biden to choose someone else.

Cascade of revelations

These revelations come barely a month after the resignation of the president of the regional branch of the Dallas Fed, Robert Kaplan, and that of the Boston Fed, Eric Rosengren, blamed for major stock transactions in the midst of the economic crisis. Fed Vice President Richard Clarida also said large-scale transactions were carried out in February 2020, at the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just before the Fed cut rates. managers to support the economy.

In mid-September, after this cascade of disclosures, the Fed and Jerome Powell announced a full review of the ethics rules regarding financial activities authorized for its officials. The Fed policeman has also looked into the issue.

The four-year term of Jerome Powell comes to an end next February and the White House, which appoints the future president before a confirmation from Congress, has so far remained silent on his intentions.

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