Eric Rosengren, president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said he will step down earlier than planned after 14 years in the job, citing a deteriorating kidney condition.
Rosengren, who faced mandatory retirement at age 65 in June 2022, said he qualified for a kidney transplant last year. His retirement is effective on Sept. 30.
“It has become clear that I should aim to reduce my stress so that I can focus on my health issues, and postpone for as long as possible my need for kidney dialysis,” Rosengren, who has been at the Boston Fed for 35 years, said in a letter to Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.
Rosengren’s decision comes less than three weeks after he and the president of the Dallas Fed were criticized following the annual release of their financial disclosure forms.
Rosengren’s disclosure filing showed that he bought and sold shares of real estate investment trusts, or REITs, and other securities last year whose values likely were affected by the central bank’s efforts to prop up financial markets as the economy plunged into recession. His REIT holdings drew particular attention because he has warned more than once that the coronavirus pandemic could hurt real estate values and cause loan losses at banks.
While Rosengren said he was in compliance with Federal Reserve ethics rules, he would sell his stock to avoid “even the appearance of any conflict of interest.”
Powell subsequently ordered a “fresh and comprehensive” examination of the central bank’s ethics rules around financial holdings of senior Fed officials.