Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker resigned on Tuesday as he disclosed his role in the leak of confidential information about the policy options that the Fed was considering in 2012.
Lacker said during a phone conversation with an analyst from Medley Global Advisors in October 2012 that she brought up an “important non-public detail” about Fed policy makers’ discussions before a meeting, according to a statement emailed by law firm McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday. Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of the information, Lacker said he should have declined to comment or immediately ended the call.
”Instead, I did not refuse or express my inability to comment and the interview continued,” he said.
Lacker said he also failed to report to the Federal Open Market Committee that the analyst was in possession of confidential FOMC information. The day after, when the analyst published details of one of the policy options in a report for subscribers, Lacker said he realized his failure to comment on the information was seen as a confirmation of it.
“I regret that in this instance I crossed the line to confirming information that should have remained confidential,” Lacker said. “In 2012, my conduct was inconsistent with those important confidentiality policies.”
Lacker, who had previously announced he would retire in October, declined to comment beyond the statement when contacted by phone on Tuesday.
The Medley report led to an internal Fed investigation, and Lacker said he failed to provide a full account about his conversation with the analyst in a questionnaire and interview with the Fed’s general counsel in December 2012.