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The self-proclaimed most honorable and integrity-filled man in public service is taking his leave.

“With my statutory term as governor due to expire on Jan. 31, 2022, I am writing to inform you that it is my intention to resign from the board on Jan. 14, 2022,” [Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard] Clarida wrote in a letter to President Biden that the Fed released Monday.

Clarida’s decision to step down a whole 17 days early comes four days after it emerged that his “portfolio rebalancing” strategy involves first selling mutual fund shares, and then repurchasing them three days later (and just before his boss made clear the central bank they both led would do whatever it took to avoid a coronavirus-induced economic collapse). Not, of course, that that had anything to do with this. Just another unfortunate and incredibly bad-looking coincidence, we’re sure.

Mr. Clarida didn’t address the trading issues in his resignation letter….

Well, his buddy Jay Powell is certainly going to have to address them.

The amended disclosure and volley of attention came at an inopportune moment for Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, who has been renominated to his position by Mr. Biden. He is scheduled to appear on Tuesday at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee…. “I will miss his wise counsel and vital insights,” Mr. Powell said in a statement announcing Mr. Clarida’s early departure.

Just as Clarida will undoubtedly miss keeping his Fidelity account open and ready for action during their chats. Anyway, in a related case of belated not-exactly-responsibility-taking:

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady had ruled in Amazon’s favor during the 20 months he oversaw the civil case, in which the online retailer accuses two former employees of taking kickbacks from a real-estate developer and violating Amazon’s conflict-of-interest policies.

In December, Judge O’Grady notified parties in the case in a Virginia federal court that his wife had owned about $22,000 in Amazon stock…. In an order Monday, Judge O’Grady said he was reluctant to step aside because his wife no longer owned the stock and the defendants in the case who had asked him to recuse offered no evidence that he was biased in Amazon’s favor.

No, Judge O’Grady, you offered it.

“However, perception of the fair administration of justice—both by the public and by the parties in the case—is of the highest importance to the Court,” Judge O’Grady wrote.

The Fed’s vice chair resigns as questions mount about his early-pandemic trades. [NYT]
Federal Judge Steps Aside From High-Profile Amazon Case, Citing Financial Conflict [WSJ]

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