We’re waiting to see the transcripts from the most tumultuous time in the last 50 years of economic history, and the Fed doesn’t seem to be inclined to let them go. It’s well past time the transcripts were released and now it’s starting to look a bit suspicious. The 2008 transcripts are sure to show us some very interesting debates and comments from the Federal Reserve officials involved, but is the Fed holding off for some reason?
For the past three years the transcripts have been released in mid-January. The 2005 transcripts were released January 14, 2010, the 2006 transcripts on January 12, 2012, and the 2007 transcripts on January 18, 2013. Last week we called the Fed and were told they’d be out soon. Still no transcripts. We’re essentially a month behind normal schedule.
While it may just be coincidental, we would point out that Ben Bernanke’s last days as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee were in the end of January. The transcripts are sure to show Bernanke’s thoughts on the markets throughout 2008 and, like any set of transcripts, will surely include some details he’d rather remained hidden, at least until after he had exited the building.
But now Janet Yellen is in charge, and Bernanke is gone. Still no transcripts. Why so late with potentially very valuable information? Is Mrs. Yellen trying to keep some embarrassing (or potentially incriminating) details of the FOMC’s discussions under wraps until her congressional testimony is complete?
You’ll be able to read the transcripts here when they are finally released.