One month ago we showed something curious: literally, the very hour the market was hitting its February lows, Janet Yellen was on the phone with Bank of England governor (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Marc Carney, followed the very next day by a conversation with ECB president (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Mario Draghi.
One reader tried to get to the bottom of the content of these phone calls and sent a FOIA to the Fed in which he requested the audio file or any documentation of the nature of the telephone call between Yellen and Carney and, subsequently, Draghi.
The Fed's response: a resounding "no", for the following reason: "the responsive document contains nonpublic commercial or financial information" and while "the document containing the exempt information was reviewed... no reasonably segregable nonexempt information was found." Case closed.
This came from the "most transparent Fed ever."
A few days later, another very important and once again "behind closed doors" event took place: Yellen met with both Obama in the afternoon of April 10, just hours after the Fed held an emergency meeting under expedited procedures to discuss "rates." That meeting too was confidential.
While clearly the detailed contents of the meeting would not be revealed, the White House was kind enough to issue the following three sentence summary:
The President and Chair Yellen met this afternoon in the Oval Office as part of an ongoing dialogue on the state of the economy. They discussed both the near and long-term growth outlook, the state of the labor market, inequality, and potential risks to the economy, both in the United States and globally. They also discussed the significant progress that has been made through the continued implementation of Wall Street Reform to strengthen our financial system and protect consumers.
This in turn came from the "most transparent administration ever." Sarcasm aside, the above was far more "transparent" than what the Fed provided following Yellen's meeting, which was nothing.
Which is why one reader decided to once again give it a try, and get to the bottom of what was said during the Yellen-Obama meeting asking for the minutes from said meeting.
The Fed's response: "we don't keep those."
And that, dear readers, is how fully and thoroughly accountable to the public both the White House and the Federal Reserve truly are.