A republican form of government such as ours can function properly only when its citizens are sufficiently informed. When it comes to scrutinizing governmental policy and conduct, as Justice Brandeis once observed, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s earlier ruling and ordered the Federal Reserve to reveal the identities of several financial institutions who received trillions of dollars in bailout money (and the precise amounts received).
Yet, just when it was beginning to look as though American taxpayers would finally learn where their tax dollars went, the Clearing House Association LLC, a private consortium of financial firms who intervened in the case on behalf of the Fed, announced that it will seek review all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. For its part, the Fed has yet to reveal whether it will join the Clearing House in seeking further appellate review, a decision it must make by May 3.
Organizations across the ideological spectrum have spoken out against bailout secrecy. But as this opinion piece by WLF’s Dan Popeo in the Washington Examiner makes clear, it’s the American taxpayers who are on the hook in the long run. At this historic crossroads in our nation’s economic history, the stakes couldn’t be higher.