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April 11, 2013

Banks on Fed Staffer E-Mail List Get Leak of FOMC Minutes

“Citigroup Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were among at least 15 financial companies that received potentially market-moving Federal Reserve information 19 hours before the public in a release the central bank called a mistake.

Brian Gross, a member of the Fed’s congressional liaison staff, distributed the March 19-20 minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting at 2 p.m. Washington time on April 9, according to an e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News. The list also included congressional staff members and trade groups. Gross referred questions to Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith.

FOMC minutes, which include comments on the committee’s discussions about the direction of monetary policy and its outlook for the economy, are among the most closely scrutinized Fed documents as the panel debates when to stop its third round of bond purchases. The inadvertent release raised questions about the central bank’s internal controls among attorneys and disclosure experts.

“The Fed’s controls over its sensitive, market-moving information are just too weak,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and chief executive officer of Better Markets Inc., a nonprofit Wall Street watchdog. “The fact that it could happen at all is inexplicable, particularly given how sensitive and market-moving this information is.””


Read full Bloomberg article here

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