The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that the Feds must tell the public which banks might have failed without the taxpayer funded financial bailout. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to find out where $2 trillion (give-or-take) of taxpayer money went but those requests went unanswered and the case ended up in court. Bloomberg’s lawyers argued that the public has the right to know—it is their money after all. The Fed’s maintained that releasing the information is tantamount to a “death sentence” because a run or a sell-off by investors could futher jeopardize the bank’s financial stability. The court, in a unanimous decision, sided with Bloomberg. However, theirs may not be the final word on the matter. The Feds could appeal the case right up the U.S. Supreme Court.
Matt Winkler, editor & chief, Bloomberg News
Joseph R. Alexander, Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel for The Clearing House