The report - a fly-on-the-wall account of the FOMC’s September 2012 meeting, with hints of Fed action to come that December - prompted a mole hunt that reached the highest levels of the central bank.
The story of the FOMC leak underscores the lengths to which outsiders will go to penetrate the inner workings of the Fed, and how valuable access can be. The Fed has never disclosed the investigation or its findings.
Public pronouncements by Fed leaders routinely move markets, and officials must walk a delicate line when discussing information. They are allowed to air their own views but are forbidden from disclosing non-public information about committee decisions.
Minutes of the FOMC, the 12-member panel that sets monetary policy, are so sensitive that an accidental leak in April 2013 caused a stir. The Fed inspector general was asked to examine how the Board of Governors handled confidential information and released a report to the public detailing weaknesses.
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