The most shocking, if already completely buried, news of the day was that - in yet another confirmation that Goldman Sachs is in charge of the New York Fed - a NY Fed staffer was colluding and leaking confidential, material information to a 29-year-old Goldman vice president, himself a former Federal Reserve employee. This only happened because on the day Carmen Segarra disclosed her 47 hours of "secret Goldman tapes" on This American Life, Goldman executives asked the former Fed staffer where he had gotten what appeared to be confidential information from. To nobody's surprise the answer was: The New York Fed.
So as the latter, also known as the biggest hedge fund of the western world with $2.7 trillion in AUM, is scrambling to once again prove it is shocked, shocked, that it has become merely the latest subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Inc., it released the following statement explaining what "really" happened.
From the NY Fed:
As soon as we learned that Goldman Sachs suspected one of its employees may have inappropriately obtained confidential supervisory information, we alerted law enforcement authorities. We have been working with law enforcement authorities since then. Because any public statement about the investigation could be prejudicial to a potential future criminal case, we are unable to comment on the specific facts that are under investigation.
As a general matter, we have detailed rules and controls protecting confidential information. All employees with access to confidential supervisory information need to agree to safeguard that information appropriately, and not to disclose it without the necessary approval. Employees receive training relating to the handling and protection of confidential supervisory information and other information security matters. Employees are informed that a violation of these restrictions could lead to criminal prosecution.
Employees also receive ongoing ethics training and are required to do an annual certification that they understand and will adhere to the Bank’s Code of Conduct. In addition, we use off-boarding procedures to confirm with departing employees that no confidential information may be taken. With respect to all New York Fed staff, departing Officers may have no official contact with the Federal Reserve System for a period of one year. In addition, all departing New York Fed employees may not have substantive business contacts with the New York Fed relating to any particular matter that he or she had worked on when employed by the New York Fed. Further, with respect to employees departing from the financial institution supervision group, if the departing employee had served as a senior supervisory officer or central point of contact at a large and complex banking organization, that employee may not receive compensation from the supervised organization as an employee, officer, director or consultant for a period of one year. Finally, the New York Fed has in place technology to help identify and prevent the forwarding of confidential information in violation of our rules.
So did this technology fail? Or is Goldman simply one of the exempted parties?
The New York Fed understands that it is entrusted with the most sensitive information relating to the financial sector. If such information is disclosed, it could be market moving or it might interfere with an important governmental program. For these reasons, we have many different controls to safeguard such information, and a record of zero tolerance for those who do not adhere to them. Of course, we also know that we are not perfect, that information today is more difficult to safeguard, and we are resolute to learn from our experiences.
And then the NY Fed released this:
The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced two separate reviews that are underway at the Federal Reserve System to ensure that the examinations of large banking organizations are consistent, sound, and supported by all relevant information.
At the request of the Board, its Inspector General is examining two aspects of the Federal Reserve System's examination program for large banking organizations:
- Whether there are adequate methods for decision-makers at the relevant Reserve Banks and at the Board to obtain all necessary information to make supervisory assessments and determinations;
- And whether channels exist for decision-makers to be aware of divergent views among an examination team regarding material issues.
Additionally, the Board is conducting its own review of the supervision of the largest, most systemically important financial institutions in the United States. This review will focus on:
- Whether the decision-makers at the Board receive the information needed to ensure consistent and sound supervisory decisions regarding the supervision of the largest, most complex banking organizations;
- And whether adequate methods are in place for those decision-makers to be aware of material matters that required reconciliation of divergent views related to supervision of those firms.
At this point one can only laugh as the entire corrupt system careens to its inevitable reset.