Did The Fed Also Bail Out A Hedge Fund In The Crisis?

The short answer: if it did, the Chairman is unaware of it. Or is he? [Laughter]

From the December 16 2008 meeting transcript:

MR. LOCKHART. Regarding financial markets, I would just comment that the pressures on the hedge fund sector have clearly not abated and may be intensifying. Over the weekend we picked up rumors of a Fed intervention that has not been discussed here, so I presume that it was just a rumor. Nonetheless, rumors were circulating that a major hedge fund group was about to collapse and that our people were “in,” so to speak, over the weekend. As Bill mentioned yesterday, the Madoff scandal certainly has not helped the picture regarding hedge funds.


Regarding risks, it is not my baseline scenario, but the risk of deflation obviously cannot be ignored, and the apparent speed of disinflation is quite a concern. The Atlanta staff prepared several forecast scenarios, and there were some plausible downside scenarios that really were quite ugly.


So to preview later comments, I think the balance of risks at this point is decidedly to the downside and justifies a trauma-management approach—or, in more normal terms, a risk-management approach—of acting aggressively at this meeting. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. Thank you, and if there has been any intervention in hedge funds, the Chairman is unaware of it. [Laughter.]


MR. LOCKHART. I am relieved to hear that.


MR. FISHER. He just wanted you to know about it, Mr. Chairman.


MR. LACKER. You said “has been”? [Laughter]



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