Federal Reserve Board: Inadvertent Release of Federal Open Market Committee Projections Disclosed; Information Now Available, Release Referred to IG

On July 24, 2015, the Federal Reserve Board (Board) explained that an inadvertent release of confidential staff projections provided to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) for its June 16-17, 2015, meeting. The release of the projections occurred on June 29, 2015. However, the projections are based on publicly available data. The Board stated that the released information will now be made available to the public. [Note: On 7-25-15, the Board released a table, which provides the staff projections that were prepared for the June FOMC meeting as well as the projections issued with the press release discussed in this post.]

Because the information has already been released, the Federal Reserve is today providing general public notification and making those projections more easily accessible on our website within the FRB/US model package (ZIP) data folder.

(With economists working at the Board and then with some of them returning to academia or industry, it is likely that these projections are already known.)

The Board also noted that the release has been referred to its Inspector General for investigation under its Program for Security of FOMC Information policy.

[Author’s note: The Board’s IG is not truly independent, rather an arm of the Board’s Chair. The Board’s Chair appoints the IG. (See Auerbach, Robert D. (2008), Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B. Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan’s Bank, Austin: University of Texas Press, pages 113-115 (esp. first full paragraph on page 114).) In addition, the Board funds the operations of the IG (see, for example, Board Annual Report, 2013, page 314 (paragraph 3)). So, the purpose of such referrals is unknown.

Also, there is a pending investigation of a more-serious previous release of information to Medley Global Advisors. Rep. Sean Duffy asked the Board’s Chair, Janet Yellen, at a July 2015 hearing, about the processs of investigation of this matter (now with the Justice Department).