Congressman Hensarling accuses Federal Reserve of ‘willful obstruction’ in leak probe

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Congressman Hensarling deserves some praise. He has spearheaded the effort to kill the Export-Import Bank (let’s hope that thing gets put in the grave) in the face of massive lobbyist firepower and now he’s putting the Fed squarely in his sights.

Hensarling’s area of interest with regard to the Fed is the 2012 leak of Fed Minutes to prominent insiders 19 hours before the the public got to see the information. This is important, market moving information which if gotten early could have been very “helpful” to traders. (We’d love to know if any of the banks involved moved on the early information.) This is what Bloomberg had to say about the incident in 2013.

The Fed initially said recipients were primarily congressional staffers and trade organizations. A list of 154 recipients released later by the Fed show that banks also were among them. The list included Barclays Plc, BB&T Corp., BNP Paribas SA, Capital One Financial Corp., Citigroup Inc. (C), Fifth Third Bancorp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nomura Holdings Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Regions Financial Corp., U.S. Bancorp, UBS AG and Wells Fargo & Co.

Other financial firms included IntercontinentalExchange Inc., the Atlanta-based owner of the world’s largest credit- default swap clearinghouse that has agreed to buy NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion; buyout firm Carlyle Group LP (CG), and financial- market data provider Standard & Poor’s.

You can read the entire article HERE.

This supposedly was an accident. Boy, what an accident. I sure think the American people deserve to know the details of this accident. So does Congressman Hensarling. But the Federal Reserve is fighting to keep things secret. Why?

(From The Hill)

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said Wednesday the Fed has no legal grounds to refuse to comply with that panel’s subpoena, and questioned whether the Fed and Justice Department launched an inquiry into the matter specifically to stymie Hensarling’s probe.

In a letter sent to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, Hensarling and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) accused the Fed of an inadequate initial examination, after it was discovered that investment advisers obtained inside Fed information before it was made public. And according to Hensarling, the Fed only reinvigorated that probe after lawmakers began asking, at which point the Fed said it could not hand over documents, lest it compromise that investigation.

Click here for the article.