WASHINGTON -- House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez, D-Texas, said yesterday he has "detailed notes" of an October 15 conference call among members of the Federal Open Market Committee discussing ways to block public release of the transcripts of FOMC meetings.
Conference calls among committee members are infrequent, and it is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for a member of Congress to get notes from any such discussions.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan recently revealed that FOMC members held conference calls Oct. 5 and Oct. 15 to coordinate testimony in connection with hearings before the Banking Committee on legislation backed by Gonzalez to reform the Fed.
Gonzalez said the notes he got reveal discussions "of how to evade full disclosure of FOMC transcripts," suggestions to destroy any future transcripts, and "disparaging remarks about one distinguished member of the House Banking Committee." Committee aides declined to identify the member.
Greenspan told Gonzalez yesterday in a letter that the FOMC will consider his request for public release of the unedited transcripts of committee meetings during its regular meeting today.