Is there a reason why the Federal Reserve won't make public the transcripts of its meetings? They officially gave the explanation that making the transcripts public would negatively impact troubled lenders, but why won't they make transcripts public after say 10 years to avoid that from happening? How does the Federal Reserve differ from other central banks, and are there other reasons for the lack of transparency?

  • Someone on econ.se said at one point that they do make the public after 5 years, but I haven't checked the accuracy of that claim. Jul 17, 2019 at 6:05
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    Are other important Central Banks make their proceedings public? If not the question could be generalized a bit. Jul 17, 2019 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


You are under a misconception. The Federal Reserve, specifically the Federal Open Market Committee, makes transcripts and minutes both available, with small redaction.


The most detailed record of FOMC meeting proceedings is the transcript. Beginning with the 1994 meetings, the FOMC Secretariat has produced the transcripts shortly after each meeting from an audio recording of the proceedings, lightly editing the speakers' original words, where necessary, to facilitate the reader's understanding. Meeting participants are given an opportunity within the subsequent several weeks to review the transcript for accuracy. ...

In transcripts from all years, a very small amount of information received on a confidential basis from, or about, foreign officials, businesses, and persons that are identified or identifiable was subject to deletion. All deleted passages, indicated by gaps in the text, are exempt from disclosure under applicable provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.


Minutes (Current) The minutes of each regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee provide a timely summary of significant policy issues addressed by meeting participants. The minutes record all decisions taken by the Committee with respect to these policy issues and explain the reasoning behind these decisions. From their emergence in their present form in February 1993 until December 2004, the minutes were published approximately three days after the Committee's subsequent meeting. In December 2004, the Committee decided to expedite the release of its minutes. Since then, the minutes have been made available to the public three weeks after the date of the policy decision, thus reducing the lag in their release by an average of about three weeks. The minutes are subsequently published in the Board's Annual Report.

In this article you can see reporting about minutes being distributed shortly after the meeting.

If the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee decision on interest rates at the end of July wasn't strong enough, there is another chance to evaluate the same data from that time all over again. The Federal Reserve has released the minutes of the FOMC meeting and the interpretation that Jerome Powell's "mid-cycle adjustment" may not have addressed some of the actual concerns that were in the room.

Now some of the CCAR or stress testing meeting contents may be kept confidential. Maybe that's what you were thinking of. The results of those tests are published annually. But not internal meetings on the same as far as I know.

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