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Fed Reserve Must Disclose Details of Bailout

(CN) - The Federal Reserve must disclose details of emergency loans it made to banks in 2008 to keep the economy afloat during the peak of the financial crisis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Releasing only a short written order, the justices refused to consider an appeal by major banks to keep the information secret.

Reporters for Bloomberg and Fox News sought to make public the list of borrowing banks, the amount of the loans, the origination and maturity dates, and the collateral provided in the fall and spring of 2008. Federal Reserve Banks made short-term loans through the so-called "discount window" to banks that needed an influx of cash.

The discount window is a short-term lending program designed for banks facing liquidity issues.

The board had claimed the records were exempt from disclosure and refused to search the lending records of its 12 Federal Reserve Banks, claiming those documents aren't considered "board records."

A previous order from a federal court giving the Fed five business days to release the information was stayed while the case was on appeal.

The Fed is now being forced to reveal the names of banks that borrowed from the discount window. The details of numerous bailout programs were released by the central bank in December under new financial regulation laws implemented by Congress. However, the disclosure did not detail which banks actually borrowed from the Fed's discount window.

Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the decision.

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