Federal Reserve Officials Leave For Wall Street With Privileged Info

Revolving Door

Federal Reserve Officials Leave For Wall Street With Privileged Info

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve may be making an effort to open up some of its famously opaque decision making, but the newfound interest in transparency doesn’t extend to sharing records of meetings that happened years ago.

The Huffington Post and MSNBC’s “Dylan Ratigan Show” filed Freedom of Information Act requests in January to obtain the minutes of Federal Open Market Committee meetings from 2007 to 2010. That month, the Fed had released the 2006 minutes of the confidential committee, which essentially sets national monetary policy.

In response, the bank provided 513 pages of mostly blacked-out paper and cited policy to justify withholding the information. “[T]he Committee has a long-standing policy of routinely releasing full transcripts on a five-year schedule. Each year’s transcripts will be made public in their entirety according to that schedule,” the bank offered by way of explanation.

By withholding the 2007 and 2008 minutes, the Fed is able to keep secret certain information on how it decided to respond to the financial crisis until after the presidential election, hampering what could be a serious debate between the two parties on its response.

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