Thursday, March 11, 2010
Eagerly Anticipating a Ruling on the Bloomberg/Fed Dispute
After hearing arguments in January, court watchers are awaiting a decision from the federal appellate court in the dispute between Bloomberg LP and the Federal Reserve regarding the news organization's request for access to a loan-by-loan accounting of its emergency bailout to banks. Bloomberg seeks information on how much was borrowed, when, on what terms, and in exchange for what collateral.
Despite a win for Bloomberg in the lower courts, the Fed has still not provided the records. The Fed argues that if such records were public, it would cause greater harm to the banks, could lead to bank panic, and could weaken the banking system further by making banks hesitant to seek future aid from the lender of last resort.
For Bloomberg, the lawsuit represents a principled stand for transparency and a tribute to its late reporter, Mark Pittman, who spearheaded efforts to obtain the information under FOIA before his sudden death in November 2009.
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