PUBLIC INFORMATION — A federal appeals court has ordered the secretive Federal Reserve Board
to release records
by Bloomberg
News in 2008 under the Freedom of Information Act
relating to the $2.14 trillion bank bailout, reports Barbara Hollingsworth for the Washington Examiner. Bloomberg
was seeking the names of firms that received TARP funds or assets that
were being used as collateral.

FOIA requires federal agencies to
hand over government documents on request. But the Fed refused, claiming
an exemption in the law protecting confidential financial data
permitted it to withhold the information because releasing it would
cause bailed-out lenders “severe and irreparable competitive injury.”

Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs, chief of the U.S. Court of Appeals in
Manhattan, found “no basis” for the Fed’s refusal to release the
requested documents in the FOIA law, agreeing with Bloomberg lawyers
that the public has a compelling right to know about the “unprecedented
and highly controversial use” of tax dollars.