The Federal Reserve is providing a congressional panel with the names of its staffers who had contact with a consulting firm that published details of market-sensitive policy deliberations in October 2012, “with the understanding that the names will be kept confidential,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said.
“As you are aware, the [Fed] Board’s Inspector General and the Department of Justice are in the midst of an investigation into this matter,” Ms. Yellen wrote in a letter dated Monday to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.), who chairs the panel’s oversight subcommittee.
“We are cooperating fully with them and look forward to the results of their investigation. To avoid compromising that investigation, these names are being provided with the expectation that they will be kept confidential.”
Mr. Hensarling did not respond immediately Monday to a request for comment.
So we'll happily tell you who leaked it... as long as you don't tell the public.
Audit The Fed!!!
Nothing says limited government and separation of powers like a bureaucracy unaccountable to the voice of the people! Then again, Yellen doesn’t care much for democratic oversight. She’s a caricature of Randian libertarianism: someone who wants to do whatever, whenever, without rulers. The problem is Yellen isn’t operating a private railroad company. She’s the figurehead for a government institution created by Congress. If democracy means anything, it’s that voters have some measure of control over political bureaucracies.
So apologies Janet, you don’t operate in a bubble (insert Fed pun here). The people - those plain people who think economics is about supply and demand rather than complicated math formulas - deserve some level of sway over the Fed’s operations. So why not an audit by the Government Accountability Office? Last I heard, President Obama was all about accountability.
Yellen and company aren’t buying it. They don’t want anyone butting in on their micromanagement of the money supply. Outside observers would interfere with the Fed’s independence, which is a sacrament of the central bank.
In an illuminating interview with the Wall Street Journal, David Wessel does his best to explain the history of the Federal Reserve and Congress’s long trek to make its internal deliberations more public. For over four decades, the GAO (then called the General Accountability Office) was barred from investigating the Fed. That changed in 1978, when Congress passed a law allowing the GAO to look at the central bank’s “regulatory duties.”
Read the rest here...