Followup: Lacker resigns as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

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Jeffrey Lacker abruptly resigned in early April as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond at the conclusion of investigations into the disclosure of confidential information more than four years ago.

Lacker released a statement saying that, in a 2012 telephone conversation, he inadvertently confirmed the accuracy of information obtained by a Medley Global Advisors analyst.

Lacker said he failed to fully disclose details of his conversation in subsequent federal probes until 2015.

“I deeply regret the role I may have played in confirming this confidential information and in its dissemination to Medley’s subscribers,” Lacker said. “In this episode, as in all of my communications with analysts, journalists and the public, it was never my intention to reveal confidential information.”

The Richmond Fed released a statement saying, “Once our Bank’s Board of Directors learned of the outcome of the government investigations, they took appropriate actions.”

President of the Richmond Fed since 2004, Lacker had planned to retire in October. First Vice President Mark Mullinix now is the bank’s acting president.

The New York Times reported that in October 2012 Medley Global notified its clients that the Fed would begin a new round of Treasury purchases at its December meeting. The apparent leak of Fed information became the persistent subject of the central bank’s critics in Congress.

In his statement, Lacker said he did not volunteer any information to the analyst but failed to end the conversation when a confidential detail was brought up.

“During that October 2, 2012 discussion, the Analyst introduced into the conversation an important non-public detail about one of the policy options considered by participants prior to the meeting,” Lacker said. “Due to the highly confidential and sensitive nature of this information, I should have declined to comment and perhaps have ended the phone call. Instead, I did not refuse or express my inability to comment and the interview continued ...”

When Medley published its report the next day, “I realized that my failure to decline comment on the information could have been taken by the Analyst, in the context of the conversation, as an acknowledgment or confirmation of the information,” Lacker said.

An interview with Lacker conducted before his resignation announcement appeared in the April issue of Virginia Business.

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