February 05, 2015

Warren and Cummings Request Information on Fed Investigation into Leak of “Market Moving Information”

Washington, D.C.-Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, and Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Scott Alvarez, the General Counsel of the Federal Reserve Board, seeking information about his internal investigation into a leak of "market moving information" from a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in September 2012.

According to a press report, the alleged leak involved "detailed and closely held information about what Fed leaders were thinking and what would be in the minutes of an FOMC meeting the day before they were publicly released." Another report indicated that those who received the leaked information "could have positioned to profit from a decline in U.S. Treasury security prices that followed the Fed's official release."

"We believe that the public has the right to know whether the Federal Reserve is taking appropriate action to address leaks of confidential and deliberative information and to prevent them from occurring in the future," the Members wrote. "Congress also needs this information to ensure accountability at the Federal Reserve and to determine whether legislative proposals are necessary in order to address this problem."

Senator Warren and Ranking Member Cummings requested information on the conduct, status, and outcome of the investigation, the Fed's policies on maintaining confidential information, and steps the Fed has taken to ensure that there are no future leaks.

"We are disturbed by this lack of transparency regarding such an important topic," they wrote. "This leak contained key market-moving information, violated Federal Reserve policy on disclosure, and may have represented a violation of federal law."

A PDF of the full letter can be found here.