This shocker just hit the tape:
- FED TO RELEASE FOMC MINUTES AT 9 A.M. VS SCHEDULED 2 P.M.
- FED: MINUTES MISTAKENLY SENT EARLY TO CONGRESS, TRADE GROUPS
So the Fed now pre-releases data to US politicians ahead of everyone else. What else does the Fed leak to those for whom frontrunning is still legal? And as if we needed more confirmation, the market is now officially a complete circus.
Oops. The Federal Reserve accidentally emailed the minutes from its March meeting to about 100 people a day early.
While no major news was expected to come from the minutes, they are nevertheless a key document that can move markets from time to time. Wall Street players often dig deep into the minutes for hints about when the central bank may pull back on its bond-buying policy or raise interest rates.
For that reason, the minutes are usually highly protected by the central bank and their release is supposed to be executed carefully.
A Fed spokesman told CNNMoney the mistake was "entirely accidental," and it was a "human error," not a technological one. The roughly 100 individuals on the list mostly included Congressional employees and employees of trade organizations. They received the minutes shortly after 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
After discovering the error this morning, the Federal Reserve decided to release the minutes to the broader public at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
At this point, it's not clear whether any trading took placed based on the early release, but the Federal Reserve Board's Inspector General will conduct an initial investigation of the error.
"We will be working with market regulators, the SEC and CFTC to insure they have the information they need to evaluate the incident," a Fed spokesman said.