Fed Secrets

The Federal Reserve wanted to ask the Supreme Court to block the release of bank bailout records, but the Obama administration reportedly told Ben Bernanke no.  Still, a group 20 banks on Tuesday asked justices to reverse a lower court order that the Fed must identify recipients of emergency loans, including the exact terms of those secret loans. Lower courts have sided with Bloomberg News in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in 2008. Whatever the outcome in court, most of the records are to be revealed under a provision that Sen. Bernie Sanders inserted in the Wall Street reform law.

By Dec. 1, the central bank must divulge the identities of financial institutions that took more than $2 trillion in nearly zero-interest loans or loan guarantees and the exact details of that unprecedented financial assistance. The law also directed the Government Accountability Office to review all emergency actions by the central bank since the start of the financial crisis in 2007. That report is due next year. "Chairman Bernanke will finally have to understand that this money does not belong to the Federal Reserve, it belongs to the American people and the American people have a right to know where their hard earned taxpayer dollars are going," Sanders said.

To read the Bloomberg News article on the court case, click here