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Fed review says leak in one case was unintentional, careless

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The probe was ordered by then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in 2012 after the Wall Street Journal and Medley Global Advisors described deliberations leading up to policy decisions before the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in September that year.

[WASHINGTON] The Federal Reserve said disclosures of confidential information about 2012 policy deliberations were unintentional and "careless," and prompted recommendations about dealings with the press.

The probe was ordered by then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in 2012 after the Wall Street Journal and Medley Global Advisors described deliberations leading up to policy decisions before the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in September that year.

The Fed's own summary of the probe of the leak released on Monday said that a Wall Street Journal reporter spoke with, in some cases "multiple times," every reserve bank president, most members of the Board of Governors and "a number of staff members." While the review didn't disclose the name of the reporter, the Sept 28, 2012, story was written under the byline of Jon Hilsenrath.

"These disclosures appeared to be unintentional or careless and none of the disclosures involved details of the FOMC policy proposals or actions," the summary said.

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In the second case of disclosure, "only a few" Fed personnel covered in the probe reported contact with the author of the Oct 3, 2012, Medley report.

The September 2012 FOMC meeting was a half-step toward what would become one of the most aggressive moves in US monetary history. The Medley report was issued Oct 3, a day before Fed minutes of the meeting were released that they would show "the groundwork for further action in coming months has been laid."

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