FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 6, 2022
Contact: Doug Walker at 202-618-6430 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Dennis Kelleher, Co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, issued the following statement in connection with the New York Times story today about Federal Reserve’s Vice Chair Clarida’s amended trading disclosure:
“The New York Times’ explosive story today discloses that the Federal Reserve’s Vice Chair Richard Clarida has amended his trading disclosure form, which now makes it look even more likely that he engaged in illegal insider trading on material nonpublic information. At a minimum, his trading was an indefensible violation of the public trust as well as clear, applicable Fed policies.
“This latest information comes on top of the equally explosive reporting that the Fed’s ethics officer specifically warned the Fed’s senior officials last March that the Fed’s anti-trading policies were applicable during the pandemic and that personal trading should stop. It is clear beyond reasonable dispute that the Fed’s many explicit anti-trading policies were applicable throughout the pandemic as detailed here. Yet, while it appears that their trading was paused for a short period of time, numerous senior Fed officials, including the Chairman, nonetheless continued to trade in their personal accounts, seeking to maximize profits while in possession of material nonpublic information and while tens of millions of Americans were thrown out of work and panicked about how they were going to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads.
“Rather than condemn that shameful conduct and come clean with the American people, the Fed has engaged in a cover up, refusing to disclose the facts or punish anyone. Indeed, the Fed Chairman himself has repeatedly minimized if not exonerated the trading, inaccurately and misleadingly blaming outdated Fed policies. Having taken those public positions, he then merely called for a self-investigation of the Fed by the Fed’s in-house Inspector General, who the Chair appointed and who reports to the Chair. The Fed’s IG investigating the trading, including his boss’s trading, and determining if his boss’s many public statements exonerating everyone at the Fed were inaccurate, false, or misleading will have little if any credibility.
“We again call on the Fed to end its cover up and come clean with the American people, disclosing all the facts related to all those who traded during the pandemic while in possession of material nonpublic information. We again also call on the Justice Department to join the SEC in investigating that trading to determine if any laws were broken. There should also be a genuinely independent, thorough investigation lead by credible outside experts into the trading and a public disclosure by them of all information related to that trading.
“Anything less than these long overdue actions will continue to undermine the trust and faith of the American people in the Fed and its leadership. Given the historic challenges facing the Fed and the upcoming unprecedented policy decisions it has to make, which will impact the lives and livelihoods of every American, the Fed simply must have the full confidence of the American people. But it cannot while this cloud hangs over the Fed and when it looks like a number of its leaders may have used inside information and broken the law to enrich themselves during the pandemic.”
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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.