Supreme Court: Federal Reserve Must Disclose Wall Street Lending Details
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The American public may soon learn which banks were bailed out with $3.5 trillion of emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the hairiest days of the 2008 financial crisis.
After a two-year legal battle, the banking industry lost its last fight this week when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision ordering Fed officials to release the names of banks, and the amounts borrowed, through the national bank’s discount window.
Bloomberg originally sought the information through a Freedom of Information Act request, and after the Fed refused to comply, the news service filed suit in federal court. Bloomberg is now supposed to receive more than 230 pages of records from the Fed detailing borrowers who used the discount window in April and May 2008.
Additionally, News Corp. is seeking more than 6,000 pages of similar information on emergency loans made from August 2007 to November 2008.
Banks had fought releasing the data for fear its publication would cause investors and consumers to lose confidence in certain institutions.
Even though the information could prove embarrassing, the banks and the Federal Reserve were at least successful in delaying the revelations long enough for the anger of the American public to dissipate.
Fed Will Release Bank Loan Data as Top Court Rejects Appeal (by Greg Stohr and Bob Ivry, Bloomberg)
Banks Must Disclose ’08 Fed Help ... If Anyone Cares (by Ben White, Politico)
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