FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eleanor Eagan, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Revolving Door Project sent new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Federal Reserve today, seeking communications from Chair Jerome Powell to Fed staff on ethics matters and calendars for his chief of staff Michelle Smith. RDP is also seeking information from the Treasury Department on the number of Federal Reserve officials who have been detailed to work there.
At present, there is no indication that Powell acted last year to underscore or enforce guidance from his own legal division warning against active trading as the Fed undertook extraordinary market interventions. Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Powell’s Chief of Staff, Michelle Smith, has been a major player in the campaign to reappoint Powell and minimize any perception that the ethics scandals are in any way a failure of his own leadership. Even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seems to have been drafted to the effort, to the detriment of Treasury policy on climate-related financial risk. Our latest round of FOIA requests will help the public to confirm or dispel these suspicions.
President Biden is nearing a decision on a Federal Reserve Chair nomination, but the Revolving Door Project’s work will not end with the conclusion of the reappointment fight. The Project’s interest in independent agencies’ leadership, functions, and ethical safeguards is longstanding. As such, RDP will continue to pursue these FOIA requests and publish their findings even after a Fed Chair choice has been made.
Our previous requests have been granted expedited processing, so it may be only a matter of weeks before we are able to begin to judge for ourselves the veracity of Federal Reserve officials’ representations to the public. No matter the exact timeline, however, we are committed to uncovering the scope and nature of the institutional and leadership failures that facilitated these ethical breaches.
PHOTO CREDIT: “File:Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building.jpg” by AgnosticPreachersKid is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0