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article imageJudge orders Fed to disclose who received bailout trillions

By Andrew Moran     Aug 25, 2009 in Business
A United States judge has ordered the Federal Reserve to make records about emergency lending to financial institutions within five days.
Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska was not convinced by the Central Bank's argument that the documents, ordered under the Freedom of Information Act, are not covered under the act because releasing these records may hurt financial institutions' competitiveness, according to Bloomberg News.
The Federal Reserve has refused to give out the following information: the borrowers' names, the dollar amount of loans and assets that were put up.
Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News, said, "When an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars were lent to financial institutions in unprecedented ways and the Federal Reserve refused to make public any of the details of its extraordinary lending, Bloomberg News asked the court why U.S. citizens don’t have the right to know. We’re gratified the court is defending the public’s right to know what is being done in the public interest."
The same day President Barack Obama reappointed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the judge struck a chord on the Central Bank's secrecy. A Federal Reserve spokesperson said they will review the ruling, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Opening the Fed's books is growing among the general public. In a recent poll, three in four Americans want the Federal Reserve to be audited. Ron Paul's House Resolution 1207, which would audit the Fed by the General Accountability Office, received majority support in the House of Representatives and have 22 Senate co-sponsors.
Officials in the Federal Reserve have warned that if this bill is passed it would destroy the country's economic landscape.
The complete ruling can be viewed here.
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