Kaplan, 64, became the second senior Fed official to announce that he is resigning after ethics questions were raised this month over their trading activity in the financial markets.
Kaplan’s resignation follows a similar announcement earlier Monday by Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed. The two officials’ financial disclosures sparked criticism from government watchdogs after they revealed extensive stock trading in 2020, when the Fed was spending trillions of dollars stabilizing financial markets and boosting the economy.
Because of their trading, the two officials could potentially have profited from the Fed’s actions.
Though the investments by Rosengren and Kaplan were permitted under the Fed’s rules, they raised at least the appearance of conflicts of interest, which Fed policy discourages. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, sharply criticized the trades and urged Fed Chair Jerome Powell to bar stock ownership by Fed officials.
“The Federal Reserve is approaching a critical point in our economic recovery as it deliberates the future path of monetary policy,” Kaplan said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the recent focus on my financial disclosure risks becoming a distraction.” Kaplan said he would resign Oct. 8.
Last year, Kaplan made trades worth at least $1 million in 22 stocks and index funds, including Amazon, Chevron, Facebook, and Johnson & Johnson.
Rosengren said earlier Monday that he is retiring this week for health reasons. He became eligible last year for a kidney transplant and said the stress of working at the Fed during the pandemic recession worsened his health.
Walmart’s management promotions for blacks slow
Walmart Inc.’s efforts to increase racial diversity in its senior ranks are wavering, new data on slowing promotion rates for Black workers show.
The nation’s biggest private employer said African American and Black employees made up 13.5% of U.S. promotions in the first half of this fiscal year, according to a midyear diversity report released Friday. That’s down from 14.1% at the end of last year and 17.2% at the midpoint of 2020. The figure includes those elevated from hourly jobs into management, as well as managers promoted into more senior positions.
The decline illustrates the challenges Black employees continue to experience when trying to move up the corporate ladder, despite widespread pledges to address racial inequities made in the wake of George Floyd’s murder last year.
Unlike other big U.S. companies, Walmart has not announced specific targets for representation of women or minorities in its senior ranks. The retailer has set aside $100 million to create a center on racial equity and has enhanced its disclosure of diversity statistics, which now come out twice a year.
“While we are encouraged by the growth of our Black and African American representation across our leadership team, we recognize that we are on a journey and have more work to do,” Walmart spokeswoman Melissa Hill said.
Beyond, Impossible join crowded chicken market
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods found success with realistic plant-based burgers. Now, they’re hoping to replicate that in the fast-growing but crowded market for plant-based chicken nuggets.
Beyond Meat said Monday that its new tenders, made from fava beans, will go on sale in U.S. groceries in October. Walmart, Jewel-Osco and Harris Teeter will be among the first to offer them.
Impossible Foods began selling its soy-based nuggets this month at Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons and other groceries. They’ll be in 10,000 stores by later this year.
The rival startups, both based in California, helped redefine what plant-based burgers could be. Beyond burgers were the first to be sold in grocery aisles next to conventional meat in 2016; Impossible burgers joined them a few years later.