The Federal Reserve must make records about emergency lending to financial institutions public within five days because it failed to convince a judge the documents should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska rejected the central bank’s argument that the records aren’t covered by the law because their disclosure would harm borrowers’ competitive positions. The collateral lists “are central to understanding and assessing the government’s response to the most cataclysmic financial crisis in America since the Great Depression,” according to the lawsuit that led to yesterday’s ruling.
The Fed has refused to name the borrowers, the amounts of loans or the assets put up as collateral under 11 programs, saying that doing so might set off a run by depositors and unsettle shareholders. Bloomberg LP, the New York-based company majority-owned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, sued Nov. 7 on behalf of its Bloomberg News unit.