Fed Rule Writing Shrouded in Secrecy
Public meetings are rare, and dissent isn't disclosed
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 21, 2012 11:27 AM CST
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, before the House Budget Committee.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The Federal Reserve has been busily rewriting the rules of the financial system for years now, and it's been doing almost all of it behind closed doors. The Fed has held 47 votes on new regulations since Dodd-Frank was passed in July 2010, and only two of those were at public meetings; in the rest, votes were cast via email, and the details of those votes disclosed to the public only last week when the Wall Street Journal requested them. The Journal notes that while the closed meetings are legal, they do represent a sea change: In the 1980s and 1990s, the Fed held as many as 31 public meetings annually.

Fed officials say public meetings tend to be scripted affairs that shine little light on the process anyway, and note that they're still giving the public as many as 90 days to comment on rules. But among the Fed's recent discloses was a dissent from one Fed governor on a regulation related to the Volcker rule; it was made public Feb. 14, the day after the public comment period on the proposal had closed, depriving public commenters of a valuable perspective. "I can't think of any justification" for that, says the official directing the Fed's rule-writing work. Click to read the Journal's entire piece.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Feb 25, 2012 3:49 AM CST
Hey, they're just a bunch of hard-working, honest men with your best interests at heart who don't want you to hear what they're saying. You can understand that, right?
Feb 21, 2012 2:15 PM CST
Sounds a bit like secret government.Wait, didn't we used to help topple secret governments who kept everything in from the people? Bring back the Glass Steagall ACT! Oh and that TV movie (too big to fail) drivel showing how good the Fed was to us all needs to be burned at the next burning man!
Feb 21, 2012 1:21 PM CST
Sounds like the Bush Chaney policy on energy! Remember that? I konw the wingnuts won't But it did happen, ha! Think Chaney and Halliburton.... What a cluster___ that was the press had to sue to get the facts and never did find out what the agenda was!!! Now it Obama with the big secrets! Gotta love Democracy what a fialure it is as a form of government... ruined by GREED and LIES and LOBBYIST! Nice ride while it was working!