The Dirty Fed Loses One More in the War Against Transparency
... it ain't over til the bald guy is in prison, you know. Next up for this circus of obscurity: SCOTUS!
An appeals court refused to reconsider a decision compelling the Federal Reserve Board to release documents identifying banks that might have failed without the U.S. government bailout.
The full U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, in a docket entry dated Aug. 20, denied a May 4 request by the Fed to review a three-judge panel’s unanimous March 19 decision requiring the agency to release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program begun primarily after the 2008 collapse of Bear Stearns Cos.
Unless the court stays its decision, the Fed will have seven days to disclose the documents. In the event of a stay, the central bank and the Clearing House Association LLC, an organization of 20 commercial banks that joined the Fed in defense of the lawsuit, will have 90 days to petition the Supreme Court to consider their appeal. The Clearing House has already said it will ask the high court to rule on the case.
“We are reviewing the decision and considering our options for appeal,” David Skidmore, a Fed spokesman, said.
I find it funny that the Fed thinks "irreparable competitive injury" is a good excuse, wasn't it irreparable economic injury that these banks were threatening when they begged for a lifeline in the first place? I'm sorry but if you want the Fed's easy money, you better be prepared to tell us who, what, where, why, when AND WTF. Thanks.
The Fed argued in the case, which was brought by Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, that disclosure of the documents threatens to stigmatize borrowers and cause them “severe and irreparable competitive injury,” discouraging banks in distress from seeking help. The appeals court panel rejected that argument.
“The decision is of exceptional importance,” the Fed’s lawyers wrote in a legal brief on May 4 in which they asked the circuit court to reconsider the decision. “The real-world consequence of the panel’s decision will be serious, perhaps irreparable harm to the institutional borrowers whose information will be revealed.”
Know what causes even more irreparable harm? The fucking Dirty Fed itself.
Here's what the Board WILL not FOIA, does anyone see "Whiny bitch banks that almost took down the world economy" on this list?
The Board will provide any reasonably segregable portion of a record that is requested after deleting the portions that are exempt from disclosure. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b), the following records of the Board are exempt from disclosure:
(1) National defense. Any information that is specifically authorized under criteria established by an executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and is in fact properly classified pursuant to the executive order. The Board does not have original classification authority; however, there may be instances in which Board records contain classified information that would be withheld.
(2) Internal personnel rules and practices. Any information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Board. This exemption may also be used to withhold internal policies (e.g., security procedures) whose disclosure might lead to circumvention of those policies.
(3) Statutory exemption. Any information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than 5 USC 552b), if the statute (A) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue or (B) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld. Information the Board has withheld under this exemption includes grand jury materials and currency transaction and suspicious activity reports.
(4) Trade secrets; commercial or financial information. Any matter that is a trade secret or that constitutes commercial or financial information obtained from a person and that is privileged or confidential. In the context of requests for applications and application-related materials, the exempt information often includes business plans, pro forma financial information, nonpublic portions of transactional agreements, and descriptions of due diligence procedures and findings. Other information, such as copies of individual loan files obtained during an examination, and voluntarily submitted proprietary information, may fall within the scope of this exemption.
(5) Inter- or intra-agency memorandums. Information contained in inter- or intra-agency memorandums or letters that would not be available by law to a party (other than an agency) in litigation with an agency. Information the Board has withheld under this exemption includes staff analyses and recommendations and inter-agency or intra-agency communications on proposals.
(6) Personnel and medical files. Any information contained in personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Information the Board has withheld under this exemption includes the names and/or personal addresses of shareholders holding less than 10 percent of the shares of a bank or bank holding company, completed interagency biographical and financial reports, and nonpublic portions of employment or non-competition agreements.
(7) Information compiled for law enforcement purposes. Any records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a state, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution that furnished information on a confidential basis, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual. Information the Board has withheld under this exemption includes investigatory records related to pending or potential enforcement actions (7(b)(A)); details on individuals who are targets of or witnesses to pending or completed investigations (7(b)(C)); and materials reflecting the Board's procedures for conducting investigations (7)(b)(E)).
(8) Examination, inspection, operating, or condition reports, and confidential supervisory information. Any matter that is contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions, including a state financial institution supervisory agency. Information the Board has withheld under this exemption includes examination reports, examination-related correspondence, examiners' work-papers, and audit plans.
(9) Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps concerning wells. The Board does not receive or maintain this type of information and has not invoked this exemption.
So far they've bought themselves a year, wonder how many bodies they've been able to hide since? Scurry, you little rat bastards, scurry!
Gee, think these guys at the Clearing House Association are covering much? It is owned by US commercial banking affiliates of ABN AMRO, Bank of America, The Bank of New York, Bank One, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Fleet National Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo. Who needs a fucking FOIA? There are your rats right there! These thugs seem to believe threats work to keep their sheisty criminal activity under wraps but, uh, I think the sheeple have caught on at this point and it's going to take a lot more than threats to get this one to go away. Good luck with SCOTUS, you bastards!