Supreme Court rules discount window data must be revealed by Fed

by Landon C on March 25th, 2011

Details about the Wall Street bailout the Fed has tried to keep confidential will be released to comply with a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of Bloomberg News in a suit to obtain data on the Wall Street banks who borrowed bailout money and how much they were loaned. Information on the discount window had been left out of a disclosure required by Congress that integrated six other bailout programs offered to Wall Street by the Federal Reserve. Source of article - Supreme Court forces Fed to fess up about discount window loans by MoneyBlogNewz.

Discount window opened up

The discount window information was not disclosed as part of the $3.5 trillion Wall Street bank bailout details of 2008 that the Fed reveled as part of the Dodd-Fran financial reform bill. Bloomberg decided to use the Freedom of Details Act to file a request to get information about the discount window from 2008. The Fed would not do it though. In 2009 a trial court ruled in Bloomberg’s favor and the Fed appealed. The Clearing House Association, representing 10 percent of the United States largest banks, made another appeal after the federal appeals court upheld the hearing. The Fed has to give details within five days after a Supreme Court decision on Monday upheld the ruling more. The information on the discount window can be released by the Fed. This will be the first time it takes place since 1913 when the program started.

Many want to know these discounts

The maximum term was elevated to a ninety day discount window by the Fed during the financial crisis. The Fed also reduced the primary credit rate and discount rate. The documents that have to be released include the names of banks and the amounts borrowed through the discount window in April and May, 2008. Some of the biggest banks on Wall Street might end up with difficulties because of this discount window information being released. Banks might end up being negatively impacted if the public knows how much the government really did have to bail out the Wall Street banks.

Always helping Wall Street win ultimately

Wall Street seemed really interested in keeping the discount windows between April and May 2008 a secret, which several wonder about. The Clearing House Association said releasing discount window data would make banks think twice about seeking government bailouts in the future. The Wall Street lawyers have done a very good job even though Bloomberg’s case was upheld by the Supreme Court. For over two years, they have kept the discount window information from coming out. The Fed is required to discharge information on financial loans because of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill after a two year grace period. This is for any loan made after July 21, 2010.

Articles cited

Wall Street journal

Toronto Star


Media Life

 Filed under: Banking / Economics


You must be logged in to comment

Site Statistics