Fed ethics office encouraged months-long 'trading blackout' by officials last year - memo

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 10/21/21 05:23 PM EDT

Oct 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve officials were strongly encouraged to observe a trading blackout for "several months" in the spring of 2020 as the central bank was embarking on a course of extraordinary actions to blunt the threat presented by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo sent to all senior officials by the Fed's ethics office.

"In light of the rapidly developing nature of recent and likely upcoming (Federal Reserve) System actions, please consider observing a trading blackout and avoid making unnecessary securities transactions for at least the next several months, or until FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) and Board policy actions return to their regularly scheduled timing," the March 23, 2020, memo said. (Reporting By Dan Burns; editing by Diane Craft)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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