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I’m not cool enough for the Fed

By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

What is the sound of eyes glazing over?

Before I explain why I'm asking that Zen koan-like question, allow me to register a complaint:

The Federal Reserve dissed me. And lots of other people, too.

The Fed's rate-setting panel, called the Federal Open Market Committee, meets eight times a year. Three weeks after each meeting, the Fed releases the minutes. The Fed was supposed to release the minutes at 2 p.m. Wednesday. But it accidentally emailed the minutes a day early. But the email didn't go to everyone. It went to a select group of 150 important people.

Among the privileged recipients:

  • Some congressional staffers.
  • Lobbyists at the American Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors.
  • Someone at the Austria Federal Ministry of Finance.
  • Big-shots at Goldman Sachs and the Carlyle Group and Wells Fargo.
  • The White House.
  • Someone at the Bank of Japan.

My feelings are hurt, because I'm not on the list of Kewl Kids Who Matter. Instead, I'm on some other email list, with the other schlubs who got the news a day later.

I don't want to dwell with you, among the schlubs. I want to be a Kewl Kid. I want to be invited to their parties, although I wouldn't go because I'm an introvert and I'm terrible at parties, and anyway, I would be afraid of being seated next to some dude who works at Rich Feuer Anderson. (No offense if you're reading this, hombre.)

When you work as a journalist outside of Washington, D.C., or New York, you quickly become accustomed to being treated as a yokel whenever you call a federal agency. You brace for the inevitable question: "What's a phone number where So-and-So can call you back?" When your answer doesn't begin with an area code in or near Washington or New York, that's when you hear your interlocutor's eyes glaze over. You're one of the hicks from the sticks because your area code isn't 202, 301, 703, 212 or 917.

So this dis from the Fed is par for the course.

I do kinda wonder why the Fed has more than one email list for its news releases. Wouldn't it be easier and more efficient to email the news releases to everyone with the push of one button, instead of emailing news releases to two (or more) groups of people?

Also, I wonder if anyone benefited financially by reading the FOMC minutes a day early.

And last, I wonder how I can get on that email list. Maybe change my area code?

Follow me on Twitter @HoldenL.

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