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Appeals Court rules for Bloomberg on FOIA: Fed must release bankster bailout documents showing who got our money


The Federal Reserve Board must disclose documents identifying financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest U.S. government bailout ever, a federal appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that the Fed must release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program launched primarily after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The ruling upholds a decision of a lower-court judge, who in August ordered that the information be released.

The Fed had argued that disclosure of the documents threatens to stigmatize borrowers and cause them “severe and irreparable competitive injury,” discouraging banks in distress from seeking help. A three-judge panel of the appeals court rejected that argument in a unanimous decision.

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, “sets forth no basis for the exemption the Board asks us to read into it,” U.S. Circuit Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote in the opinion. “If the Board believes such an exemption would better serve the national interest, it should ask Congress to amend the statute.”

The opinion may not be the final word in the bid for the documents, which was launched by Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, with a November 2008 lawsuit. The Fed may seek a rehearing or appeal to the full appeals court and eventually petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of course, since Obama whipping for TARP was how the bailouts were retrospectively legitimized -- TARP's $700 billion, the only bailout to undergo legislative scrutiny, is trivial beside the $22 trillion made available to the banksters by the Fed and the Treasury before Lehman collapsed -- I'd expect our tribunes of the people in the "progressive" blogosphere to be all over this one. Not.

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three wickets's picture
Submitted by three wickets on

It's about time. Bloomberg has been after the NY Fed for this for over 18 months.

Submitted by jawbone on

Mercantile Exchange and and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oh. Hhhmmm. I did not know that.

From LATimes article posted by Michael Collins at The Agonist.

Currently, manyDodd derivatives are traded over the counter – not on any exchange – but the legislation recently introduced by Dodd seeks to change that and put more trades onto exchanges like those owned by the CME Group. This is anticipated to be a boon for the company.
Well, it turns out that Dodd's wife has made a business of being on corporate boards, and last year, before the current financial reform legislation was proposed, the Hartford Courant described how she decides which assignments to take:

“She's turned down board seats that pay more but could entangle her in issues her husband works on. She's hired an ethics lawyer to screen out corporations that might have business before her husband.”

The CME, though, would certainly seem to have business before Dodd. The CME’s code of ethics would also seem to touch upon situations like this:

"Conflicts of interest may also arise when a director, or members of his or her family, or an organization with which he or she is affiliated receives an improper personal benefit as a result of his or her position as a director of CME Group. Certain situations are so likely to create the appearance of a conflict of interest that they must be avoided."

Press officers at the CME did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment. A spokeswoman for Dodd, said, "Jackie Clegg's work on this Board does not affect Chairman Dodd's work on the Committee and vice versa."