The Federal Reserve has great powers. It sets monetary policy, and its decisions can have repercussions far beyond the borders of the United States.
Information about the bank’s future steps is strictly confidential, as gradual changes in policy can lead to sharp fluctuations in the stock market.
Senator Portman wrote that the Fed was “at the heart of the US economy and the stability of the US financial system,” and accused China of leading a sustained effort to gain influence.
In a letter to Portman, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that some people may try to exploit weaknesses in the institution. “Because we understand that some actors aim to exploit any vulnerabilities, our processes, controls, and technologies are robust and are updated regularly,” he said. “We respectfully reject any suggestions to the contrary,” he added.
He added that all Federal Reserve employees who have access to sensitive information are subject to thorough investigations, including a review of their overseas travel and personal communications.