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The Fed Releases Thousands Of Secret Bailout Docs In The Least Transparent Way Possible

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Katya Wachtel
Business Insider
March 31, 2011

The Fed just released another batch of documents detailing which banks used the emergency discount window at the height of the financial crisis.

We don’t have them yet. Why? They were released to a select group of reporters via disk in Washington DC. The disk contains 895 pdfs.


We’ll be updating this post shortly as details come in.

In the meantime, we can tell you…

Officials at the Reserve resisted naming which lenders made use of the overnight loan facility, because they say that if there’s another crisis, the banks “won’t seek help when needed.”

And the only reason they’re releasing the trove now is because a federal court is forcing the disclosure.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“Federal judges ruled in separate court suits by Bloomberg LP’s Bloomberg News and Fox News Network LLC’s Fox Business Network that the Fed did not have a legal basis for withholding the information from the public,” according to the WSJ.

25,000 emergency-lending documents from August 2007 to March 1, 2010 will be published. Significantly, the documents will detail lending during October 2008, the month after Lehman imploded and “discount-window loans soared to $111 billion.”

Last December, the Fed released a huge batch of details on the almost $3.3 trillion worth of credit it dispersed during the crisis — it revealed a lot about the federal bailout, except it left out borrowings from the discount window, “the oldest lending tool in the central bank’s arsenal.”

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Fed Reveals Which Banks Borrowed During Crisis

March 31, 2011

The Federal Reserve on Thursday released the names of banks that borrowed from its main emergency lending facility during the financial crisis after having run out of legal appeals to block publication.

The 25,000-plus pages of document released by the central bank provide an unprecendeted view of which banks needed the most help during the crisis.

They detail not only the bank names but how much they borrowed from the Fed’s so-called discount window for period of Aug. 8, 2007, to March 1, 2010.

Discount window lending peaked on Oct. 29, 2008, at $111 billion as the crisis reached fever pitch after investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in mid-September.

The Fed was forced to disclose details of its discount window lending after the U.S. Supreme Court last week let stand a lower court ruling that it do so, an action the Fed had fought.

Full article here

This article was posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 9:06 am

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