Did Janet Yellen Just Ban A Reporter From The Fed Press Conference For Asking "Difficult" Questions

Tyler Durden's picture

Ripped from the pages of "House Of Cards," it appears that the asking of difficult questions of she-that-shall-be-obeyed is entirely unacceptable to Janet Yellen and her Fed.

In March - the last Q&A session post-FOMC statement, Dow Jones reporter Pedro da Costa dared to ask about The Fed's leaking of crucial details about FOMC decisions to a newsletter and its subsequent refusal to comply with Congressional demands for those details.

The difficult question starts at around 45:30 - look at Yellen's face when asked the question for a clue as to her next move.


Yellen displeased:


Full Transcript

PEDRO DA COSTA. Pedro da Costa with Dow Jones Newswires. I guess I have two follow-ups, one with regard to Craig’s question. So, before the IG’s investigation, according to Republican Congressman Hensarling’s letter to your office, he says that, “It is my understanding that although the Federal Reserve’s General Counsel was initially involved in this investigation, the inquiry was dropped at the request of several members of the FOMC.” Now, that predates the IG. I want to know if you could tell us who are these members of the FOMC who struck down this investigation? And doesn’t not revealing these facts kind of go directly against the sort of transparency and accountability that you’re trying to bring to the central bank?


CHAIR YELLEN. That is an allegation that I don’t believe has any basis in fact. I’m not going to go into the details, but I don’t know where that piece of information could possibly have come from.


PEDRO DA COSTA. If I could follow up on his question. I think when you get asked about financial crimes and the public hears you talk about compliance, you get a sense that there’s not enough enforcement involved in these actions, and that it’s merely a case of kind of trying to achieve settlements after the fact. Is there a sense in the regulatory community that financial crimes need to be punished sort of more forcefully in order for them to be—for there to be an actual deterrent against unethical behavior?


CHAIR YELLEN. So, the—you’re talking about within banking organizations? So, the focus of regulators—the banking regulators—is safety and soundness, and what we want to see is changes made as rapidly as possible that will eliminate practices that are unsafe and unsound.


We can’t—only the Justice Department can bring criminal action, and they have taken up cases where they think that that’s appropriate. In some situations, when we are able to identify individuals who were responsible for misdeeds, we can put in place prohibitions that bar them from participating in banking, and we have done so and will continue to do so.

True... and the Justice Department can also bring a criminal probe for leaks at the Fed itself as was disclosed shortly after the above exchange, a probe which may very well implicate anyone, including Janet herself hence her eagerness to avoid any "touchy" questions today.

Social media had already asked whether Mr. da Costa would be allowed back:

And his response:

As a result of all this, Mr. da Costa - with no apparent reason given - was not 'invited' to today's FOMC Press Conference (but had a request of his fellow press corps):

But why would they if merely asking the almighty Yellen what the state of the Fed's now officially criminal investigation, is enough to get them barred?

As a reminder, two weeks ago we reported the Committee on Financial Services subpoenaed the Fed for records related to the central bank’s review. The Fed declined to comply in full citing the ongoing criminal investigation. More specifically, Yellen says the OIG has advised the Fed that providing access to the information requested by congress would risk "jeopardizing the investigation." As in "Yellen refused to comply."  

The punchline:

the Fed says it cannot comply with a Congressional subpoena regarding an alleged leak due to the fact that producing the requested documents could ultimately result in... a leak.

Of course this could all be coincidence, but do we know if any other reporters who have been dis-invited? Is there a room constraint that means a Dow Jones reporter is squeezed out by BuzzFeed or TMZ?

And now back to praising the freedom of speech and press in the land with the great and almighty First Amendment... which is granted to everyone as long as they remember to never actually use it.

That, and of course hearing the "questions" of that other WSJ/Dow Jones staffer, Jon Hilsenrath, who will surely be present and maybe ask Yellen for a follow up to his legendary op-ed asking why US consumers are so "stingy" despite 7 years of Fed central planning and "wealth effect."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Just following Dear Leader Obama and Hillary's(!) lead.


philipat's picture

Why can't they ask REALLY difficult questions like "If the economy is doing so well and with unemployment at 5.6%, why can't you raise interest rates by even 0,25%" or perhaps, "Now that several Fed Officials have admitted that wealth re-distribution upwards has resulted from QE and ZIRP, how much longer will The Fed keep stealing from the 99%" etc. There used to be real journalists out there who would consider being banned from such a Press Conference a real badge of honor?

Toolshed's picture

These crap fests are by invitration only. The journalist's employers have changed dramatically over the past few decades. Now, getting dis-invited means the journalist becomes dis-employed. So, play nice or no job. Look at what Greenwald had to deal with. And he was one of the very lucky ones, mainly due to his already established notoriety.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

This is the exact shit the Soviet Union did.  Started out by simply throwing out Lenin's detractors in public spaces before he came to power.  Then once he got in power he started locking them up, and the White Russians were all executed along with their families.  Then came Stalin who killed everything. 

Have an international exit plan.  Seriously.  I'm not fucking joking.  Guarantee you the capitalists in Cuba in the early 50s, the White Russians and Monarchs in Russia ca. 1910, the Jews in Europe ca., 1931, the Germans in what is today Poland in 1943, the non-bolshevik Communists in Russia ca 1946 -- they all had the writing on the wall as to what was coming, yet they all stayed, and many of them paid with their lives.  Why?  

Things were okay, there were some writing on the wall -- but everything had always worked out before.  Then came an economic collapse, and those in the middle lost the ability to flee, and subjected themselves to the will of their new masters -- whomever it may have been.  

If you think the USA will be the "land of the free and the home of the brave" forever -- you are fooling yourself.  I bet none of you without looking it up on google can name a single government that is as old as the United States.  Even the British with their Act of Union before SHTF with Napoleon are yougner than we are.  

The US is heading full steam towards socialism.  If you want to see what Socialism is really like, first hand from someone who had money, and then socialism showed up, I recommend this book; 


Make plans while you still can.   

eclectic syncretist's picture

These worthless piece of shit lackey fed governors will do or say anything for their bread crumbs from their bankster masters. Have a look at Bernanke trying to explain why and how it benefited Americans to extend New Zealand $3,000 of credit for every citizen in the country, rather than extending that credit here.


VinceFostersGhost's picture



Please fashion your questions in the following manner...


Ms Yellen, how did you get to be so awesome?

clooney_art's picture

Press conferences are information sources for the ignorant and manipulatable.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

I understand exactly why yellen outed this reporter for his completely innapropriate question. World leaders are sick and tired of conspiracy theorists. This is a critical point history and world leaders are working day and night to fix the economy and put us on the right track. We don't need conspiracy theorists interfering with this process and undermining our government and Federal Reserve at this critical time. I agree with UK Prime Minister David Cameron when he said that we will no longer ignore outlandish conspiracy theories and leave people alone simply because they are 'following the law'. Being a good citizen is about more than just following the law - you also need to respect the values and institutions that protect and uphold our society and our freedom, and those who try to undermine it should be punished accordingly. 

mtl4's picture

MDB you must work for a spin doctor outfit because it's scary how close your stuff sounds to the actual BS put out by the powers that be.......you forgot to weave in terrorism but other than that well done.

swmnguy's picture

I coordinate corporate events. I could write stuff like MDB writes. But eventually I'd hang myself. One can only augment core competencies, optimize expenses, tear down silos and embrace accountabilities for so long before one either goes completely mad or loses the will to live.

Buzz Fuzzel's picture

The French found a solution for this problem around 1789.


chunga's picture

I'd like to know if the sTate of Israel is also plagued with non-stop banking scandals where nobody ever gets in trouble.

That would be a great question to ask her.

nope-1004's picture

Free speech is banned in the US, whenever it comes to televised events where propaganda needs to be spread for manipulative purposes.

The FED uses the alias "Hilsenrath" to ask the public direct questions and gauge feedback.  The FED is clearly lost because controllers need public compliance, and many in the public are waking up.


Temporalist's picture

MillionDollarBootlicker_ I feel fortunate to have your guidance in how to don and embrace the yolk of tyranny.

swmnguy's picture

The "Yolk" of tyranny? Not the white?  Or the "Yoke?"

Jonas Parker's picture

"Yolk" is correct, as in "rotten eggs" or "something stinks here"...

STP's picture

"I understand exactly why THE REPORTER outed YELLEN for his completely appropriate question. THE PEOPLE are sick and tired of WORLD LEADERS, BEHAVING LIKE THE conspiracy theorists, THEY ARE. This is a critical point in history and world leaders are working day and night to PUT A FIX on the economy and put THEM on the right track FOR EVEN MORE MONEY FOR THEM AND THEIR CRONIES, AND SCREW EVERYONE ELSE. We NEED conspiracy theorists and THEY SHOULD BE interfering with this process and BY undermining our government and Federal Reserve at this critical time, THEY MIGHT JUST BRING ABOUT CHANGE.  I DISAGREE with UK Prime Minister David Cameron when he said that we will no longer ignore outlandish conspiracy theories and leave people alone simply because they are 'following the law'. Being a good citizen is about more than just following the law - you also need to DISRESPECT the BOGUS values and PARASTICAL institutions that PRETEND TO protect and uphold our society and our freedom, and those who try to undermine it should be AWARDED accordingly."


There, fixed it for ya!

caconhma's picture

MDB is a real POS and the enemy of American people. He hates the US Constitution with its freedom of speech, thought, expression, and association. 

People like him must be dealt using his own rules: an electric chair without any legal proceedings.

WOAR's picture

MillionDollarBONUS is a satirist. That's the only way I can understand him being here. It's not like he doesn't read the articles here, after all...

MillionDollarBogus, on the other hand, is just a troll account.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

MDB...I suspect that you're so much of a fuckwit that you must in fact be a fucking wit.

Blano's picture

So what caused you to show up today, and why not more often?

Looks like we have a couple noobs to teach about your class A trolling.

As usual, a greenie just for showing up.

LooseLee's picture

I would not want to be you (MDB) or any of your up-voters when TSHTF. You will not have time to ask for forgiveness...

Implied Violins's picture

High sarcasm is lost on the masses. Note: not all sarcasm is noted with a /sarc tag.

markovchainey's picture

Damn, I almost down voted that post until I saw it was MDB.  Man your stuff is pure gold.

Arnold's picture

"Please fashion your questions in the following manner...


Ms Yellen, how did you get to be so awesome?"


Are you free for dinner?


(helped you with it, I did.)

847328_3527's picture

I'm surprised Mutton face was able to keep a straight face when asked about, "enforcement."


However, lots of giggles from her team behind the curtain.

fukidontknow's picture

I never saw one cent of my 3k and here in the fascist milk republic we are subjects not citizens.

Toolshed's picture

"These worthless piece of shit lackey fed governors will do or say anything for their bread crumbs from their bankster masters."


Well......yeah. People forget, or just don't know, that the FED is a private entity owned by private banks. There has never been a complete list of owners compiled. I am fairly certain that this is due to some of the owners being foreign banks, which would startle,offend, and possibly outrage the masses to learn that dreaded furiners had controlling interests in our monetary policiy.

rwe2late's picture

 And as Putin has said,

only an insane person would want to resurrect the Soviet Union.

Putin's press conferences with questions and answers are much more

forthright and open than those of US leaders.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

The Soviet Union served an important role.  I think its too damn bad they chose Socialism as an economic model backed up by an authoritarian government. This Unipolar world stuff sucks -- badly. 

Bryan's picture

Ah, it'll all work out.  Someone will bail us out and we'll all be taken care of... baaa.... baaaa....

frankly scarlet's picture

Haus....oh nooo not socialism..ahhhh. No not socialism try fascism instead. To imagine this state think of Pinochet's Chile. Yes, third world tyranny will be the outcome with the small class of uber rich violently oppressing the poor masses with a sadistic managerial class standing between. If you mean a socialist revolution coming from this state of affairs then the improvement would be welcomed by most I suspect.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Socialism would be great for the bottom 30% for the first few months, and just like Venezuela -- those which previously produced now quit as they are deprived of the fruit of their labor, thus eliminating the middle class almost overnight.  

I am not scared of fascism in a generally wealthy society where you can keep the spoils of your labor.  I am *terrified* of any government that uses socialism as its economic model, as it decends into authoritarianism, and if you're really unlucky, fascism thereafter. 

Its this reason why 95% of the Zerohedgers, if they had to choose between living in Nazi Germany 1939 -- the hight of its power -- (assuming it continued without 40-45) or Soviet Russia in 1962 (the high of its power) would choose Nazi Germany.  Has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with money.

People want to acquire more to make their lives and the lives of their children better when compared to themselves and everyone else.  This isn'T rocket science -- its basic humanity 101.  Deprive people of this and prepare to live in a hellhole.   

Who the fuck really believes "I think my children should have a life just as good as mine -- not better -- but not worse either, so other people I will never meet can have a better life, that would have it otherwise, at my children's expense."  This is essentially socialism. 

Bastiat's picture

If you're not scared of Fascism, you don't understand it.

Temporalist's picture

You can either be hanged with silk neckties or sisal but you're still getting hanged.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Fascism in a nation where everyone is wealthy is much less oppressive to those with money than authoritarianism in a poor country.  

Neither is ideal, but at the end of the day, would you rather be ruled over and wealthy or ruled over and poor?  

11b40's picture

But only for a temporary snapshot in time would you be wealthy.  Human nature doesn't work that way.  Even with the gift of our Constitution, wealth is being consolidated more & more as we allow our elected leaders to ignore the rule of law.

Sorry, but I want neither authoritarian system to rule over me.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

No one wants authoritarianism.  You are definitely correct, as you are about human nature.

Excellent points I had not thought about before.  Thank you for the "logic check."  

11b40's picture

It is hard to grasp just how corrupt humanity is, on a collective basis.

When we have homogenized societies where we mostly feel connected, Socialism feels more natural and seems to work best (so far).

As societies become more disjointed and pluralistic, the notion of sharing becomes less popular, and factions begin to battle over their "share".  This is where we see things coming apart across Western societies.

Our Constitutional Republic kept America focused on the rule of law and the general population largely unified for about 200 years.....but the past 40 years especially has seen a major change in the way we feel about each other as we have become more polarized.  Now, it is all about power and control as factions of self interest battle over the spoils of the once great country we were.  Ever day the Congress is in session is another opportunity for one group or the other to steal more.

No matter what system of governance humans chose, it will eventually become corrupt.  Some systems may give the average person a fighting chance longer than others, but sooner or later the re-set button will have to be pushed or some form of Authoritarian rule will emerge.

That's life.....nothing more constant than change.

swmnguy's picture

That's why I'm an anarchist at heart, but willing to work with ad-hoc organizational structures.  No human system is perfect, and actually that's just fine.  Not grounds for becoming embittered, or cynical, or just giving up; it's the constant puzzle we always have to deal with to get things done.  Just so we don't get complacent and mistake the tools for the actual task, getting so infatuated with the intricacies of a specific system that we stop trying to do what we're really supposed to be trying to do, and instead spend all our time farting around with a system that is inherently flawed from the outset by the mere fact that humans thought it up.

Most hierarchical systems are attempts to shield each of us from having to be responsible for and to ourselves and others.  That's the flaw, really.  When somebody wants to help you, they usually say, "I'll help you," taking the credit for themselves (as they should).  When they don't want to help you, they should just say "I don't want to help you," but humans being sociable critters, we don't like saying that.  Instead we say, "I'm sorry Sir, our policy doesn't allow me to help you in this situation..."

People deal with each other well enough in small groups.  Or poorly enough, depending on your personal family experiences.  It's when our unit-groups of people get too large that the problems you describe start to crop up.  I don't think there is a solution to that.  I don't really think there needs to be, but we need to acknowledge that fundamental imperfection in our nature and "build it in" to our assumptions when we set out to do anything really big that requires lots of people and organization.  Instead, we tend to credit The Organization with sentience and priorities outside of ourselves.  That's where things really start getting screwed up.

Gnostech's picture

Fuck that. I want authority and clear hierarchies, a chain of command and responsibility, and I want to march in some snazzy fucking uniforms designed by Hugo Boss. 


But yeah, fascism over communism anyday of the week. People use fascism as a pejorative without any idea what the word even means. They think fascism = dictatorship or tyranny, and that somehow communism was not much, much worse.

Consuelo's picture

With attribute to G. Edward Griffin: "They're All forms of Collectivism..."

Toolshed's picture

Sadly, the most likely end result in the USA (imho) will be neither socialism or fascism. We will probably end up in a dictatorial feudalistic mess with the three or more (probably the latter) countries that formerly comprised the USA constantly pecking at each other. That is assuming, of course, that there are survivors left on the North American continent after WWIII.

macroeconomist's picture

Another moronic clueless rant against socialism. 

You really deserve the capitalist hell you live in. (Ah I know, US is not capitalism, it is a socialist country, just like Marx and others envisaged, isn't it? Illiterate morons...)

Haus-Targaryen's picture


The US is not capitalism.  It isn't socialism either.  Its a weird Capitalism frankenstein where those who gamble with others money get fines dramatically less than what they steal.  We have eliminted bankruptcy for certain institutions who habitually commite said thefts, and bankruptcy is a fundamental principal of Capitalism.  If you make it possible to eliminate bankruptcy, you eliminate capitalism, as capitalism is the efficient distribution of capital, and preventing bankruptcy prevents the efficient distribution of capital, which destroys one of the fundamental tenants of capitalism.    

Fuck Karl Marx, Fuck Lenin, Fuck anyone who calls Socialism an answer to anything but a back door to authoritarianism -- which it does quite well.  

Oh yeah, fuck you too.  

EDIT - I do enjoy the system, and it certainly isn't a hell for me.  I know how it works, and how to abuse it until it finally collapses.  I do it daily.  

EDIT 2 - Here is a spoon;


You can eat my ass.