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Court Order the Fed to Hand Over Details of the Bank Bailouts

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The court ruled in favor of Bloomberg's Request for Summary Judgment against the Fed's Board of Governors, saying the Fedmust disclose details on where the money went during the bank bailouts.

Bloomberg News LP filed for production of documents under the Freedom of Information Act when the Fed refused to name the financial firms it lent to or disclose the amounts or the assets put up as collateral under the programs put in place during what is being referred to as the "deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression".

Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled against the central bank, agreeing with Bloomberg's assertion that when public funds are invested in a property, the taxpayer investors have a right to know the details of the transactions and the risks involved, the same as any other investor.

The court rejected the Fed's argument that their loan records aren't covered by the Freedom of Information Act because disclosure would harm borrowers' competitive positions. Preska wrote. "Conjecture, without evidence of imminent harm, simply fails to meet the Board's burden" of proof.

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The Fed was given five days to turn over documents, but they are expected to appeal.

Article and some links:

The Case is: Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

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