Fed holds its meetings at posh resorts, too -- but taxpayers don't foot the bill

The Federal Reserve is certainly practicing the "do as I say, not as I do" rule when it comes to setting up meetings. Two conferences at luxurious sites, one hosted by the Boston Federal Reserve and one hosted by the San Francisco Federal Reserve, would certainly have raised eyebrows if AIG booked them. If companies that received bailout funding have to cut back on their lavish spending, why does the Fed continue to book top resorts?

The Fed's answer: The conferences don't cost the U.S. taxpayer anything. The organizing agencies recover all of their costs through fees charged to the attendees, and the attendees pay their own way. Yes, the venues are high-end. At the Bacara Resort & Spa near Santa Barbara, Calif., where the San Francisco Fed held its event, rooms range from $250 to $400 per night and suites range from $800 to $2,000 a night. The Wequassett Inn on Cape Cod, Mass., where the Boston Fed held its meeting, regular rooms go for about $320 night and suites can be as high as $1,860 a night. But the Fed negotiates lower rates for its attendees at both events.