Reuters, in its story, never noted this very strange market movement on August 16 and 17. But it did report this about the alleged Geithner disclosure:

Private disclosure of confidential, market-sensitive information by the central bank would be highly unusual, but it was not immediately clear if it would be illegal. It also was not clear if strict Fed internal rules governing confidential information would have been breached, or whether any internal or external investigation was mounted.

But whether it’s illegal for a Fed president to leak such critical information, its certainly illegal for recipients to trade on it. If Ken Lewis et al. took Geithner’s tip and made bullish bets that would be insider trading.

Somehow I doubt that the “Sheriff of Wall Street” has wiretapped anybody on this one yet. But it’s still worth better coverage—or at least some coverage—by the major news players.


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at