Warren, Cummings: What is the Fed doing about leaks?

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on .9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax Sanders vows to force vote on minimum wage Warren's wealth tax would cost 100 richest Americans billion MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBottom line House Democrats reintroduce bill to reduce lobbyist influence Trump voters and progressives have a lot in common — and Biden can unite them MORE (D-Md.) are demanding details from the Federal Reserve about how critical information leaked out of the central bank in 2012 and who may have gained from it.

The pair asked for details regarding how the central bank investigated an alleged leak of monetary policy deliberations, and what the agency is doing to ensure that such information, which can affect financial markets, remains protected. The two said they were “disturbed” by the lack of transparency from the Fed on its probe and are considering legislation to address the matter.


“This leak contained key market-moving information, violated Federal Reserve policy on disclosure, and may have represented a violation of federal law,” they wrote to Scott Alvarez, the Fed’s general counsel.

In December, ProPublica reported that Fed officials were concerned about some leaks from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the hugely influential team within the Fed that debates and sets the nation’s monetary policy. Investors pore over ever FOMC statement, and any policy decisions can lead to immediate shifts in financial markets. Early leaks of Fed decisions could give investors an opportunity to position themselves to reap a windfall if a policy change is forthcoming.

The Fed only acknowledged the leak following a Freedom of Information Act request but declined to provide transcripts in which FOMC members discussed the leaks, which appeared in news media and an investment newsletter.

Warren and Cummings said the Fed has not provided any details of the investigation to the public or explained what was done to address the issue. They demanded a full staff briefing.