Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker Resigns After Admitting To 2012 Leak

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker Resigns After Admitting To 2012 Leak

Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker abruptly left the USA central bank on Tuesday after admitting that a conversation he had with a Wall Street analyst in 2012 may have disclosed confidential information about Fed policy options.

Lacker admitted to talking to an analyst from Medley in October 2012, but did not say he provided her with details about the Fed's policy options, which aimed to boost the economy following the 2007-09 financial crisis. Lacker failed to disclose information about his conversations with Medley Advisors in 2012, a rumored leak that caused significant embarrassment to the central bank and led to probes in Washington.

During his tenure, he became known for his dissenting votes on policy. The Federal Reserve Board had no immediate comment.

A report from Medley Global Advisors was released on October 3, 2012, a day before the Fed released meeting minutes from the month prior - leading to potential profits for those who acted on the information, from a drop in Treasury security prices. But he said he did disclose further details in a 2015 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In the statement, Lacker apologised to Fed colleagues for breaking the central bank's communications policy when he participated in an interview with an analyst, who brought up details of the Federal Open Market Committee's September 2012 policy discussion.

At the Fed's September 2012 policy meeting, officials laid the groundwork for the massive bond-buying stimulus they were to roll out later that year.

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Mr Lacker had previously announced plans to leave in October, but said in a statement that "in light of these matters I have decided to make my departure from the Federal Reserve effective today".

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker abruptly quit Tuesday, admitting that he was the person who leaked sensitive information regarding the Fed's quantitative easing program.

Lacker isn't a policy voter on the FOMC this year. Some Fed watchers had speculated that the Trump administration might be considering Lacker for a position as the vice chair of supervision, a position that will be vacated with the resignation of Fed governor Daniel Tarullo in early April.

The Federal Reserve places a high priority on safeguarding information. In the interim, First Vice President Mark Mullinix is serving as the Bank's acting president.

A separate statement from the Fed board said the central bank was committed to maintaining the security of confidential information.

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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