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Stephen Friedman, chairman of the New York Fed, announced his resignation, effective immediately, the bank announced Thursday.

Denis M. Hughes, deputy chairman of the board, will exercise the powers and duties of the chair. The New York Fed is considered the most important and influential of the regional Fed banks.

Friedman, a former

Goldman Sachs

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was under scrutiny as Goldman

gained quick approval for bank holding-company status. He also served on Goldman's board, owned stock in the company and bought more shares in December.

This article was written by a staff member of