D.C. Snowstorm Alters Fed Minutes Release

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government’s closure on Wednesday during a snowstorm in Washington will affect the way the central bank releases the minutes of its Jan. 29-30 meeting, preventing news organizations from reviewing the document before it’s publicly available.

The Federal Reserve said the record of the meeting will be posted on its website at 2 p.m., as scheduled.

Normally, the Fed provides members of accredited news organizations access to the minutes ahead of the public release time at a central-bank facility, allowing the journalists time to prepare headlines and articles reporting the content also at 2 p.m. local time. That procedure for the media was canceled for Wednesday’s minutes release due to the inclement weather.

The change may impact how financial markets initially react to the minutes, according to Bloomberg economists Carl Riccadonna and Yelena Shulyatyeva. There’s “some potential for increased volatility in the absence of a carefully crafted news story to give the traders a quick take of the tone of the Fed communication,” they said.

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