Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan made multiple million-dollar-plus stock trades in 2020, according to a financial disclosure form provided by his bank, in contrast with other regional Fed leaders who reported more modest financial holdings and smaller transactions.
Eleven of the 12 regional Fed banks have provided disclosures of their leaders’ 2020 financial profiles since Friday, sharing information that gives insight into the holdings of officials who help set the central bank’s monetary policy. The Chicago Fed didn’t make immediately available information for their leader.
Mr. Kaplan has been one of the Fed’s strongest voices warning that high levels of monetary stimulus are boosting risk levels in the financial sector.
According to the disclosure form provided by the Dallas Fed, Mr. Kaplan had a total of 27 individual stock, fund or alternative asset holdings each valued at over $1 million. Mr. Kaplan’s stockholdings included Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Boeing Co., Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc. and Marathon Petroleum Corp.
The form also shows Mr. Kaplan made some combination of sales or purchases of over $1 million in 22 individual company shares or investment funds. These transactions included Apple, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , Amazon, General Electric Co. and Chevron Corp.
Mr. Kaplan, the Dallas Fed leader since 2015, has deep roots in the financial sector. He worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for more than two decades and rose to become its vice chairman with responsibility for the firm’s investment-banking activities, leaving that job in 2006. Before coming to the Dallas Fed, Mr. Kaplan was a professor at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Kaplan’s wealth and active presence in the financial markets mirrors that of his predecessor at the Dallas Fed, Richard Fisher, who also reported substantial assets and trading in his own disclosures.
A spokesman for the Dallas Fed said Mr. Kaplan’s trading was reviewed and approved by the bank’s general counsel.
The Fed’s 12 regional banks are quasi-private institutions that are technically owned by member banks, and overseen by boards of directors drawn from the private sector. The regional Fed presidents occupy rotating slots on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, and their banks collect local economic intelligence and house banking regulators. The regional presidents are also paid more than the Fed’s Washington-based governors, who are explicitly part of the government.
In the forms provided for the other bank presidents, most reported modest holdings of investment funds and little in the way of large stock trading. Boston Fed chief Eric Rosengren listed a number of stock trades under "joint" status in transactions that were each $50,000 or less, for example. Richmond Fed leader Thomas Barkin, who was a senior executive at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. before becoming bank president, listed a number of financial holdings each in excess of $1 million.
Atlanta Fed leader Raphael Bostic flagged on his form a number of property holdings that were associated with mortgages, while the Boston Fed leader also had a rental property. Kansas City Fed leader Esther George reported a stake in a farm.