A prominent Federal Reserve official has stepped down after admitting he leaked confidential information with an analyst pertaining to the United States central bank’s initiatives for economic stimulus in 2012.
Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker announced his immediate resignation on Tuesday. Lacker conceded that he discussed sensitive information to an analyst at Medley Global Advisors in regards to the September 2012 Fed meeting. Medley, owned by the Financial Times, publishes financial analysis for asset managers and hedge funds.
He did not disclose this information during an internal review, and did not reveal this information until an interview with various federal authorities, like the FBI.
Lacker’s actions violate Fed communications policies that ban “providing any profit-making person or organization with a prestige advantage over its competitors.”
The longtime Fed official issued a statement:
“Due to the highly confidential and sensitive nature of this information, I should have declined to comment and perhaps have ended the phone call. Instead, I did not refuse or express my inability to comment and the interview continued,” Lacker said in a statement.
“I deeply regret the role I may have played in confirming this confidential information and in its dissemination to Medley’s subscribers. In this episode, as in all of my communications with analysts, journalists and the public, it was never my intention to reveal confidential information.”
The Richmond Fed Bank immediately issued a statement:
“The Federal Reserve places a high priority on safeguarding information. We expect every employee to comply with all relevant policies and procedures, as well as our standards of conduct. Employees must review and acknowledge our policies annually. Once our Bank’s Board of Directors learned of the outcome of the government investigations, they took appropriate actions.
“We are focused on moving forward within our organization—and were already underway with our presidential search, following Jeffrey Lacker’s announcement in January to retire in 2017. This search process will continue as scheduled. In the interim, First Vice President Mark Mullinix is serving as the Bank’s acting president.”
Lacker started to serve as president and CEO of the Richmond Fed bank in August 2014. He is a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), though he was not a voting member of the FOMC this year. Lacker had initially planned to retire from the Fed in October.