Friday, December 12, 2008

How's this for "Transparency"?

Remember the early days, when the bailout was first sprung upon an unsuspecting public? We were treated to lies like this:

Henry Paulson: "We need oversight. We need transparency. I want it. We all want it."

Seemed pretty clear right? Of course, the only reason he said that was because people actually read his original three-page proposal which revealed what he really wanted (this is the full text of Section 8):

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

So now, is anyone really shocked that not even a lawsuit will force them to be transparent?
The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.


“There has to be something they can tell the public because we have a right to know what they are doing,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “It would really be a shame if we have to find this out 10 years from now after some really nasty class-action suit and our financial system has completely collapsed.”

Consider also:

Bipartisan coalition of 75+ groups demand bailout transparency.

The three layers of oversight promised in the original bill is still not in place, despite spending almost all of the first $350 billion.

Economist: Paulson plan "truly idiotic"; shows a "complete leadership failure in Congress and the administration".

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