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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Bernanke and the Fed Resisted Transparency

Bernanke and the Fed Resisted Transparency

Thursday, 28 April 2011 05:37

Business reporters seem to have very bad memories. All of the media accounts of Federal Reserve Board Chairman's first press conference touted his commitment to Fed transparency.

These reporters are apparently too young to remember that the Fed strongly resisted giving out any information about the trillions of dollars of below market loans that it disbursed at the peak of the financial crisis. It only released this information when a coalition of conservative and progressive members of Congress, led by Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders, attached a provision requiring the release to the Dodd-Frank bill. Bernanke had claimed that releasing the information would jeopardize the stability of the financial system.

Bernanke also went to court to block the release of information about discount window borrowing from the Fed. He only gave up and released the requested data after all his legal options were exhausted. The description of Bernanke as unquestioned advocate of increased Fed transparency is wrong.

Comments (5)Add Comment
Thank God Ben Saved BMW with Big Loan
written by paul, April 28, 2011 7:03
If Ben hadn't loaned BMW $3.6 Billion in 2009, yuppies would have to walk to get their lattes now.
Bernanke Prevented a Second Great Depression
written by izzatzo, April 28, 2011 8:05
Fools. Doesn't anyone understand game theory anymore?

The Fed loans had to be secret lest everyone would want one. Bernanke deserves a medal for preventing moral hazard and saving the economy from a lending run on the Fed by ordinary people who think they deserve the same discount rate as the upper class.

Stupid liberals.
(i.e. The Truth)
written by Union Member, April 28, 2011 8:21

Lol:Bernanke had claimed that releasing the information (i.e. The truth) would jeapordize the stability of the financial system.

Isn't this thinking revealing of the essence of the financial system itself?

Light may be the best disinfectant, but it's even more necessary to see where you're going. Bernanke sounds like he studied under Kenny Lay.

written by pete, April 28, 2011 10:52
Ron Paul is by no means conservative.
written by arby, April 28, 2011 12:35
The reporters were also too young to remember to ask about what was in the release of the records from several months ago. They were also too young to remember to ask about how much the TBTF banks - who make up the Federal Reserve and are the boss of Bernanke - have made from Bernanke's policy of printing money. Do these people have even a dim memory of what a journalist does for a living?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.