The Federal Reserve is a quasi-public tax-exempt organization. From what I can tell, governance of a Fed Reserve Bank is generally held to the same standards of every nonprofit. And, this is what makes the 8/23/2011 Huffington Post reported story about Kathryn Wylde, deptuy chair of the New York Fed's board, and the topic of conflict of interest of interest to me.
According to the Post, Kathryn Wylde has challenged state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's opposition to a proposed $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America and a group of investors -- leaping to the defense of the financial industry -- according to remarks quoted Monday in The New York Times. So what you might ask? Well, Ms. Wylde's day job is president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, "a nonprofit that is funded by dues from its partner companies, which include the very banks involved in the talks to settle claims over hundreds of billions of dollars in soured home loans."
I believe that what we have here is an excellent example of what it can mean to have a conflict of interst. Only thing is: Ms. Wylde doesn't agree. Me, I'm less complicated. I believe that not having a conflict of interest means removing the hat you are wearing when entering the room or keeping your hat on and leaving the room.