Wikinvest Wire

The Fed must disclose bailout details

Friday, March 19, 2010

It looks like the Federal Reserve has lost another round in court, prying eyes apparently moving one step closer to examining just what exactly is going on at the nation's central bank according to this story at The Hill where, surely, there are much more important things going on today involving the health care bill.

Congressional lawmakers critical of the Federal Reserve are cheering a federal appeals court decision Friday compelling the central bank to disclose information about the financial bailout.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York on Friday ruled in favor of Bloomberg LP against the Federal Reserve System in a suit filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The suit has been a high-profile effort to obtain information from the Fed, which used broad powers to help stabilize the financial system during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Trillions of dollars were extended to support financial institutions during the crisis, and lawmakers and other critics have sought more transparency from the central bank.

"The statute as written by Congress sets forth no basis for the exemption the Board asks us to read into it," wrote Dennis Jacobs, chief judge on the court, regarding FOIA. "If the board believes such an exemption would better serve the national interest, it should ask Congress to amend the statute."
The Federal Reserve lawyers (well paid, no doubt) are considering filing another appeal and will likely figure out some way of maintaining their secrecy.

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