❮ Return to Our Work

FOIA RequestPress Release | October 7, 2021

Watchdogs Request Fed Leadership's Contacts With Ethics Office

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial Regulation
Watchdogs Request Fed Leadership's Contacts With Ethics Office

Contact: Max Moran, moran@therevolvingdoorproject.org

Today, the Revolving Door Project sent a series of Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking Federal Reserve Governors and Regional Bank Presidents’ correspondence related to their 2020 financial activity with employees of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and the Federal Reserve’s Legal Division.

The requests call for all written correspondence and calendar dates of meetings between OGE and Federal Reserve Legal Division officials and members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, as well as with the Federal Reserve Regional Bank Presidents, during the COVID-19 crisis.

Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser issued the following statement:

“Chair Powell claimed at a CNBC press conference that he got OGE sign-off to lead the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) despite his own muni bond holdings. But as we showed on Monday, he didn’t mention his own trading into actively-managed muni bond funds during the same period. This and so much else calls into question whether Powell actually consulted with OGE staff, and if so, what the extent of their conversations were — and that’s just related to Powell’s personal transactions.”

“Similarly, a Fed spokesperson has claimed that Vice Chair Clarida’s multi-million dollar trades the day before Powell signaled the Fed’s market interventions was a predetermined rebalancing. We will demand to see contemporaneous evidence that such a rebalancing was indeed preplanned, shared with the appropriate ethics officials, and signed off on.”

“FOIA only applies to government records. That means that even if the Fed and OGE respond promptly and don’t deny or redact these requests, the documents will still only give us a partial picture of any potential insider trading. This is why we’ve also called on Congress to conduct a full investigation, including subpoenaing family members and trustees of the Fed leadership. Only Congress can fully explore any potential wrongdoing in these cases.”

“Still, we intend to investigate what we can using our civilian-level tools. The malfeasance already in the public record is staggering. For the sake of government integrity, the public must learn how deep the rot goes at Powell’s Federal Reserve.”

The Revolving Door Project’s previous writing on Powell and the Federal Reserve can be found here.


Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial Regulation

Related Articles

More articles by Max Moran

❮ Return to Our Work