Hush Hush

Fed Protects Bailed-Out Firms

The Federal Reserve has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan to block an unprecedented ruling that would compel the central bank to reveal the financial firms that would have likely failed without the largest government bailout in U.S. history. In response to a request from Bloomberg LP in August, a federal judge ordered the information released. Lenders could be hurt should the documents be released and could hamper the Fed’s handling of a future crisis, Fed officials say. But Bloomberg is arguing that the people have the right to know about the “unprecedented and highly controversial use” of public money. Though a lower court was convinced, a ruling from the three-judge appeals panel could take months and still may not be the final word.