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August 25, 2009

Fed Must Disclose Recipients of Emergency Bank Loans

After a bit of fun at the expense of legacy media below, it's only fair that I highlight a legacy media victory. Bloomberg news filed a FOIA request and lawsuit months ago to get the Federal Reserve to disclose the emergency loans it has been making as part of the financial recovery program under Presidents Bush and Obama.

The Fed resisted, despite Obama's statement that agencies "adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” in responding to requests under FOIA.

Today, a U.S. District Court ordered the Fed to comply with the FOIA request.

The judge said the central bank “improperly withheld agency records” by “conducting an inadequate search” after Bloomberg News reporters filed a request under the information act. She gave the Fed five days to turn over documents it told the reporters it located, including 231 pages of reports, and said it must look for more at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which runs most of the loan programs.

The central bank “essentially speculates on how a borrower might enter a downward spiral of financial instability if its participation in the Federal Reserve lending programs were to be disclosed,” Preska wrote. “Conjecture, without evidence of imminent harm, simply fails to meet the Board’s burden” of proof.

David Skidmore, a Fed spokesman who said the board’s staff was reviewing the 47-page ruling, declined to comment on whether the central bank would appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York.

Good for Bloomberg. (It is also worth mentioning that in Bloomberg's story on Hassan Nemazee the financier's connections to Obama and Clinton were in the very first sentence.)


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:48 PM

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