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Study finds increase in taxi trips between NY Fed and banks around FOMC meetings
By Michael S. Derby
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 5, 2018
A new study has found a jump in New York City taxi cab activity between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and major Wall Street banks around the time of central bank policy meetings, and the study's author says the findings suggest an increase in informal communications between Fed employees and individuals in the private sector could be occurring.
The New York Fed strenuously disputed the study's assertions.
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The study was conducted by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Ph.D. candidate David Finer, 33 years old, and made available by the school. His research is in a working paper that will be made public today.
Mr. Finer used government-provided GPS coordinates, vehicle information, and other travel data to track taxi traffic between the addresses of the New York Fed and major banks. His research pointed to increased traffic between the destinations around lunch and late evening hours, which suggested informal meetings were taking place, Mr. Finer wrote in his paper. He found elevated numbers of rides around Federal Open Market Committee meetings, with most of them coming after the gathering.
"The paper does not say anything illegal is happening," Mr. Finer said in an interview. But "the pattern of interactions suggest these meetings are happening, and there's the potential for information to be shared" between Fed employees and those in the private sector at these types of gatherings, he said.
A spokesman for the New York Fed said the paper's claims were fundamentally flawed. ...
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