Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who Got the Fed Minutes in Advance of Everyone Else and Why?

WSJ reports:
The Federal Reserve said early Wednesday that it inadvertently e-mailed the minutes of its March policy meeting a day early to some congressional staffers and trade groups.

Late this afternoon, the central bank released to reporters a list of more than 150 e-mail addresses that it says received the early e-mail on Tuesday afternoon. (The minutes had been scheduled for release a day later.) The list includes e-mail addresses for dozens of congressional staffers, along with contacts — many of them government-relations executives — at major banks, lobbying firms and trade groups.

The following list of organizations included on the Fed’s distribution list was compiled by the Journal based on the e-mail addresses released by the Fed.

Banks, trade groups and lobbying firms:

American Bankers Association
American Council of Life Insurers
Barclays Capital
BNP Paribas
Capital One
Carlyle Group
The Clearing House Association
The Cypress Group
Fifth Third Bank
Goldman Sachs
The Gray Company
Guggenheim Partners
Independent Community Bankers of America
J.P. Morgan Chase
King Street
National Association of Realtors
Regions Bank
Rich Feuer Anderson
Roberts Raheb & Gradler
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Standard & Poors
Sullivan & Cromwell
U.S. Bank
Wells Fargo
Whitmer & Worrall
Williams & Jensen

Government agencies or public-oriented entities:

Austria Federal Ministry of Finance
Bank of Japan
Conference of State Bank Supervisors
Congress (House & Senate)
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
European Central Bank
Federal Housing Finance Agency
National Credit Union Administration
Treasury Department
White House

As Caroline Baum comments:
 Forget the foul-up. Why is the Fed emailing minutes to the banks?  

This is really an odd list and appears to be some type of very insider, VIP group. It contains major investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs, high powered law firms, such as Sullivan Cromwell and bank lobbying firms. I am on the list to receive FOMC minutes and other Fed releases, but did not receive the FOMC minutes in advance, like those on this list did.

The real question is what is this list about, how does one get on it and do they receive any type notices from the Fed that are not released to anyone else?  Indeed, the BIG question is why was this list put together?

Most interesting is the name of Williams & Jensen on the list. The firm describes itself this way:
 Williams & Jensen was co-founded in 1970 by J. D. Williams, one of the most respected tax and business lobbyists in Washington, and the late Robert Jensen, known for his antitrust, securities, and litigation experience. In many ways, the firm's success continues the dual approach set at its beginning: highly effective government relations, grounded in technically proficient law.
Williams & Jensen has since grown to become one of the few leading independent law firms in Washington with a practice focused primarily on lobbying.

Whitmer and Worrall is another odd name on the list. According to the firm's web site:

 Whitmer & Worrall has several areas of expertise. The partners have extensive and diverse experience as a result of working on many of the most prominent legislative issues over the past decade. Our primary practice areas include:
General Corporate Representation
Housing & Urban Development
State and Federal Marketing
Defense/Homeland Security
Transportation & Infrastructure
Coalition Management

Then, of course, there is the question, why is the private equity firm co-founded by David Rubenstein, Carlyle Group, on this list?


  1. Easy! A list of the financial mafia... Cross these boys and you can wind up seriously dead.

  2. Seriously dead? Is that the same as waking up dead? ROR. I'm just messing with you, I agree 100%.

  3. To be honest instead of getting constantly fleeced by these insider criminal activities I need to get out more to concerts like this...

  4. Bloomberg offered a hollow explanation for financial oligarchs getting the minutes early. No surprise Carlyle was on the insider list: