WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve
said on Friday it would miss a deadline to finish an
investigation into its inadvertent release in April of
market-sensitive policy documents, which were sent out a day
early in an embarrassing lapse of central bank security.
In a slip the Fed said was accidental, a member of staff
emailed minutes of its March policy meeting to over 100
congressional staffers and bank lobbyists on Tuesday, April 9,
around 24 hours ahead of the scheduled release.
These top-secret documents give hints on future Fed action
and can have major impact on global financial markets. That
said, market movements after the March release were fairly mute
compared with the volatility caused by minutes of other
The Fed's Office of Inspector General said it pushed back
the completion date of the probe until end-September from the
end of second quarter. It made the disclosure in a regular
update of work in progress.
Officials in the inspector general's office were not
immediately available to clarify why the date was pushed back
The Inspector General is looking into how the minutes are
distributed to staff and to "evaluate the Board's management
controls to prevent the early release."
The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures
Trading Commission both confirmed they were contacted by the Fed
in connection with the premature release of the minutes, but
have declined to comment further.
Among those who received the minutes early were people with
email addresses that identified them as working for a number of
financial firms, including Goldman Sachs Bank USA
, Barclays Capital, Wells Fargo & Co,
Citigroup Inc, UBS and JPMorgan Chase & Co, which
trade on new information about U.S. monetary policy.
After discovering the breach early on April 10, the Fed
decided to publish the minutes at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT), five hours
ahead of the scheduled release time.