Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Richmond Fed head Lacker resigns, admits improper disclosure

Richmond Fed head Lacker resigns, admits improper disclosure

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, resigned from his post effective Tuesday, saying that he had improperly disclosed sensitive information about monetary policy to a financial analyst several years ago.

Mr Lacker said in his statement that during a telephone conversation with the analyst on October 2, 2012 he had become aware that the analyst was in possession of non-public detail about a policy option, and by failing to refuse to comment he may have given the impression that he was acknowledging or confirming the information.

The Richmond Fed said that it began a search for a new president after Lacker announced his retirement in January.

The 2012 leak had triggered a criminal investigation after research firm Medley Global Advisors told its clients the details of a key Fed meeting a day before the Fed released its own record of the discussion. Lacker's lawyer says the investigation into Lacker is complete and no charges will be brought.

"Medley Global Advisors is a journalistic organization that publishes in-depth macro policy coverage and analysis". He cites, with a painful degree of exactitude, his "failure to decline comment on the information could have been taken by the Analyst, in the context of the conversation, as an acknowledgment or confirmation of the information". In a 2015 interview with law enforcement, however, Lacker said he did report the incident.

The Federal Reserve said in a statement that it is committed to maintaining the security of confidential information from its meetings.

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Lacker said he failed to provide a full account about his conversation with the analyst in an interview with the Fed's general counsel in December 2012.

Lacker said he deeply regretted the error and that it was never his intention to reveal confidential information. In the interim, Mark Mullinix, the bank's first vice president, will serve as acting bank president.

It added: "Once our bank's board of directors learned of the outcome of the government investigations, they took appropriate actions".

The Federal Reserve places a high priority on safeguarding information. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities.

For much more on the investigation into the Medley leak, check out this report [both articles are behind soft paywalls] from the Wall Street Journal or this one from the New York Times.

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