The end of days must be closer than I realized.
Conservative stalwart Fox News is not only taking on the officialdom, it is going after Republican authorities. This is almost as much fun as learning that J. Edgar Hoover was a cross-dresser.
But then again, Fox is going after the AIG rescue and the TARP, which have made peculiar allies of the left (who see it as an almost no strings attached subsidy to the big end of the financial sector that created this mess) and the right (who see it as creeping socialism and profligate use of tax dollars) with plenty of company in the middle (non-ideological types who are appalled by the lack of planning and controls). So this move represents the vein of conservative thinking that sees big-spending Bush as a traitor to the cause.
It’s no wonder the Treasury has tried the “just say no” approach. The more light shed on the bailouts, the less flattering the picture that is likely to emerge. But unlike the Bloomberg effort to compel the Fed to disclose information about the various Fed lending programs (exactly what collateral the central bank is taking and from whom), Fox ought to have decent odds of winning the fight. The Fed has contended that FOIA does not apply because the loans come out of the New York Fed, which is not a government body. while Treasury would appear to lack an easy out.
Go Fox! From its website:
FOX Business Network has filed a lawsuit against the United States Treasury Department over failure to provide information on the bailout funds or respond to FBN’s expedited requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA].
The initial request, filed on November 25, sought actual data on the use of the bailout funds for American International Group and the Bank of New York Mellon, and an additional request, filed on December 1, sought similar data on the bailout funds for Citigroup, Inc. FBN is asking for the Treasury Department to identify, among other issues, the troubled assets purchased, any collateral extended, and any restrictions placed on these financial institutions for their participation in this program.