NYT Sues Fed and Treasury

A tip of the hat to The New York Times for filing a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department for stalling on its Freedom of Information Act requests.

The paper’s Jo Becker and Tim O’Brien filed suit this week to force the Fed and Treasury to respond to its requests for documents related to the bailout. Those include records that would document who Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson consulted with in the creation of the bailout plan and would include records detailing the selection of BlackRock, PIMCO, Goldman Sachs, and Wellington Management to manage parts of the bailout.

The Times accuses the government of violating FOIA by requiring an upfront agreement on fees and by not abiding by the time limits set under the Act.

This is the latest lawsuit by the media to pierce the secrecy surrounding the bailouts. Bloomberg filed suit last fall to force the Fed to disclose what collateral its holding against its trillions of dollars in loans, and Fox Business News sued for information related to the bailouts of Citigroup, AIG and the Bank of New York Mellon.

Go, team.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.