Federal Reserve Security Trading Ban Formally Adopted and Extended to Cryptos

The move follows last year's controversial disclosures of top central bank officers actively trading markets, often ahead of key policy decisions.

AccessTimeIconFeb 18, 2022 at 8:53 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:21 p.m. UTC
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Under the comprehensive new investment and trading activity rules, senior Federal Reserve officials will be prohibited from the purchase of individual stocks, bonds, agency securities, foreign currencies, commodities, sector funds and cryptocurrencies.

  • The rules were initially announced in October, but cryptocurrencies were not included at that time. Friday's formal order, however, does include crypto.
  • For now, the regulations apply only to senior Fed officials, but the U.S. central bank expects them to eventually become applicable to lower ranked employees.
  • Disclosures last year of active trading in a wide range of securities by a number of top Fed officials – particularly ahead of the emergency measures adopted amid the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 – claimed the scalps of the Boston Fed's Eric Rosengren and the Dallas Fed's Robert Kaplan.
  • Other rules of note in Friday's order include the demand for 45 days non-retractable notice for purchases and sales of securities, and the need to hold investments for at least one year. Trades will also be prohibited during periods of heightened market stress (left undefined at this point).
  • The new policy takes effect on May 1, and current officials will have one year to get rid of all impermissible holdings.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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