Survey Finds Demoralized Workforce at Federal Reserve

Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 02:36 PM

By Lisa Barron

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A confidential survey of roughly 400 Federal Reserve employees found exceedingly low morale at the central bank charged with overseeing the country's biggest financial institutions.

The findings from the survey, which were presented to Fed staff during meetings in June and July, showed that workers are largely afraid to speak out, distrust their bosses, and feel isolated, according to The Huffington Post, which obtained the results.

Some say the shaky morale stems from Alan Greenspan's term as Fed chairman from 1987 to 2006. "Supervisors during the Greenspan years were beaten down regularly," Phil Angelides, former chairman of the congressionally appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, told the publication.

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"It doesn't surprise me that you would still have some dysfunction, a lack or morale and something less than a highly energized and well-coordinated arm of the Federal Reserve, where for so long the regulators and bank supervisors were held back by the leadership of the Fed," he said.

Others maintain there is a new problem in the form of senior officials such as Dan Tarullo, the Fed governor who oversees the regulatory and supervision staff, and his top aides. The Fed's inspector general has launched a probe into complaints lodged by Fed staff, according to The Huffington Post.

The survey findings come as President Barack Obama is choosing a replacement for Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires in January. The top contenders appear to be Larry Summers, Obama's former top economic policy adviser, and Janet Yellen, Fed vice chairman.

Last week, Obama met with the heads of the government's eight financial regulatory agencies and pushed them to accelerate the adoption of financial reforms "to ensure we are able to prevent the type of financial harm that led to the Great Recession form ever happening again," according to a White House press release.

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