The Federal Reserve tried to hide the identities of companies that received emergency funding as the world economy went to hell, but a federal judge stepped in with a backhand Monday and stopped the practice, saying the Fed had failed to show that naming the businesses would cause “imminent competitive harm.”
Bloomberg requested the names of the companies in a Freedom of Information Act request, which the Fed denied. So Bloomberg took the Fed to court and won, Reuters reports:
“The board essentially speculates on how a borrower might enter a downward spiral of financial instability if its participation in the Federal Reserve lending programs were to be disclosed,” she wrote. “Conjecture, without evidence of imminent harm, simply fails to meet the board’s burden.”
Monday’s ruling comes as lawmakers and investors demand greater disclosure in how the government manages a series of programs designed to lift the economy out of its deepest recession in decades.
No word on when exactly the Fed will have to cough up the company names, but by all means, let the imminent competitive harm begin as soon as possible!