Filching Figures

Tapping the Fed's computer

On most Friday afternoons at 4:15, the Federal Reserve releases the money-supply figures from the previous week. In the past, that has set off a flurry of activity in financial centers around the world. Short-term interest rates often rise or fall on the basis of what the Fed reports, causing swings in the prices of bonds and often stocks. Anyone who could find out in advance what the figures would be might reap huge profits by buying or selling.

Such was the scheme of Theode C. Langevin, 34, a six-year employee of the Federal Reserve Board who moved to...

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