Friday, December 18, 2009
Redaction Run Amok!
The Puget Sound Business Journal has been seeking internal communications between Washington Mutual (WaMu) and federal regulators, including the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).
Of interest are internal emails, which the news organization hopes will help explain why regulators seized the bank in September 2008 even though WaMu appeared to meet regulatory standards for operating banks.
The results of the FOIA requests have been less than forthcoming. OTS denied the request in full, citing FOIA exemptions that protect records concerning the operations of financial institutions and to protect inter-agency communication. Meanwhile, the FDIC produced emails, but they were so heavily redacted as to be meaningless. In doing so, the FDIC relied on FOIA exemption 8, which allows the government to redact information related to the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.
To see the emails, click here.