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January 22, 2024

IG Report on the Pandemic Trading Scandal Is Not Credible and Proves Again that Transparency and Accountability Must Be Imposed on the Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Dennis Kelleher, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, released the following statement in connection with a Federal Reserve Inspector General (OIG) Report on the Fed Trading Scandal of 2020.

“As hundreds of thousands of Americans were dying and tens of millions were being thrown out of work due to a catastrophic pandemic that gripped the country with fear, some of the most senior officials at the Federal Reserve were making dozens of multimillion-dollar trades, seeking to personally profit in 2020 during the disaster. This was a transparent and egregious breach of the public trust and a gross disservice to the hundreds of Fed officials and staff working 24/7 for weeks on end to save the economy.  Unfortunately, Fed leadership, led by the Fed Chair himself, treated this as a PR problem to be covered up, sending a clear message to the entire organization that being transparent and accountable was merely PR posturing and a smokescreen.

“That’s why no one can seriously be surprised that the Federal Reserve Inspector General has once again exonerated senior Fed officials for their shocking personal stock trades during the pandemic.  This was not an independent, outside investigation that the American people can trust.  It was nothing more than the Fed investigating itself.  Such self-investigations have – and should have – no credibility.  Moreover, the Fed IG is not independent.  His job and pay effectively depends upon his boss, the Fed Chair. That was also proved by the IG’s prior pathetic ‘report’ on the trading by Chair Powell and Vice Chair Clarida.

“The American people deserve better.  Chair Powell, the IG, and too many others in Fed leadership appear to have a ‘see no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil’ view of conduct at the Fed no matter how outrageous. PR and the Fed’s reputation appear to be the priorities. That’s wrong and reflects a broken culture and unacceptable anti-democratic attitude. This ‘report’ is just the latest evidence that Congress must act to make the Fed IG truly independent and additionally force broader transparency, oversight, and accountability on the Fed.”


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

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