Who Else Spilled Secrets at Hedge-Fund Party?
On Monday evening, European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure told a closed-door reception for hedge-fund traders, economists and fellow central bankers that the bank would probably accelerate bond-buying this month and next, ahead of an anticipated summer lull. Everyone else learned about the plan on Tuesday morning, an appalling breach of the rules concerning selective disclosure. What we don't yet know is which other central bankers at the event might have spilled illicit beans.
Here's the lineup for the Monday afternoon session of the all-day conference where Coeure spoke, which was organized by the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis at Imperial College London Business School, the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the Swiss National Bank:
Almost two full days after the event, a lengthy Internet search failed to produce the text of what those four central bank officials said. I found a 2014 paper by the SNB's Assenmacher on "Real Exchange Rate Persistence." The ECB website suggests Bindseil last published in November 2013 on "Central Bank Collateral," although he also authored a September 2014 book on "Monetary Policy Operations." Hansen, at the Danish central bank, shows up as co-writer of a June 2010 report on "The Incidence of Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity."
McAndrews, the fourth speaker on the agenda, co-wrote "Stability of Funding Models" in February 2014. Given that the Fed is already under investigation for leaking information to investment firm Medley Global Advisors, you'd expect the director of research at the New York Fed to be particularly sensitive to the need for transparency. But those are the most recent papers I could find for all four policy makers.
There don't appear to have been any additional press releases -- 14 hours late or otherwise -- sharing the content of any of the bankers' Monday deliberations with the wider world. Moreover, the event's welcome address was delivered by Swiss central bank board member Thomas Moser; there's no evidence that his comments have been made public, either.
Maybe only Coeure said something worth sharing, but how can anybody who wasn't in the room know? Given that the euro is down more than 2 percent against the dollar since Coeure's comments started filtering out to the select few, I for one would like to read what those five central bankers said on Monday.
UPDATE: A Fed spokeswoman called me Thursday to point out that McAndrews gave a speech on "Negative Nominal Central Bank Policy Rates" to the University of Wisconsin on May 8, and said his remarks on Monday were based on that speech. But there are no plans to transcribe or publish those Monday remarks, she said.
(Updates article published May 20 to add final paragraph with Fed comment on Jamie McAndrews's remarks.)
To contact the author on this story:
Mark Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor on this story:
Marc Champion at email@example.com