Per a press release, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s senior officials will be unable to trade crypto, purchase individual stocks, hold an investment in individual bonds, commodities, and even foreign currencies. The FED’s Federal Open Market Committee made the announcement today and claimed the rules have been adopted with a unanimous vote.
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First presented back in October 2021 amid a wave of controversy; many high-ranking officials were accused of purchasing securities before big announcements. These officials were able to profit from subsequent market movements.
In that sense, the FED attempt to regain public confidence, the release said, and send a message of “impartiality and integrity”. The rules have the objective of preventing FED Senior Officials from entering into a conflict of interest.
In addition to crypto trading, the rules forbid FED officials from derivatives and margin trading and require them to provide a 45 days’ notice when purchasing or selling a security. Furthermore, they will need to obtain permission to conduct these transactions or to “hold investments for at least one year”.
The financial institution also restricted its high-ranking staff from the following:
Purchases and sales also will be prohibited during periods of heightened financial market stress. These new rules supplement existing rules that prohibit Federal Reserve officials from holding bank stocks and Treasury securities and from engaging in financial transactions during a blackout period around FOMC meetings.
Once the rules come into effect, the release reveals, the presidents of the U.S. Reserve Banks will need to disclose any securities transactions within a month. This information will be made available to the public on the correspondent Reserve Bank website.
The new rules banning crypto, and securities trading will apply to Reserve Bank presidents and Board Members, as mentioned, first vice presidents, research directors, FOMC staff officers, manager, and deputy manager of the System Open Market Account, Board division directors, individuals appointed by the FED Chair and their families, the release revealed.
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The FED will review the adoption of these rules against crypto, securities, and trading of other investment vehicles. After, the financial institution could extend its application to other staff members. The rules are expected to come into effect as of May 1st, 2022, and as of July 1st, 2022, for investments that require advance notice.
Posterior to these dates, senior officials will have a year to “dispose of all impermissible holding” and new officials will have 6 months to do the same. The financial institution added:
The Committee also extended the financial trading blackout period around regularly scheduled FOMC meetings by one day following each meeting to align it with the Committee’s external communication blackout period.
Other U.S. government bodies, such as its Congress, could follow in the footsteps of the FED. According to a report by Vox, there is a growing movement within lawmakers to prevent conflict of interest and potential inside trading from the institution’s officials and staff members.
Vox quote’s separate report that claims at least 55 members of Congress broke the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act in 2021. These violations went about with impunity as there aren’t rules that contemplate punishment when these cases occurred.
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As of press time, the crypto total market stands at $1.78 trillion with a 1.46% loss on the daily chart.
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