Bloomberg News Responds to Bernanke Criticism
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a letter to four senior lawmakers today that recent news articles about the central bank’s emergency lending programs contained “egregious errors.”
While Bernanke’s letter and an accompanying four-page staff memo posted on the Fed’s website didn’t mention any news organizations by name, Bloomberg News has published a series of articles this year examining the bailout. The latest, “Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress,” appeared Nov. 28.
“Bloomberg stands by its reporting,” said Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News.
Here is a point-by-point response to the Fed staff memo.
From Fed memo: “These articles have made repeated claims that the Federal Reserve conducted ‘secret’ lending that was not disclosed either to the public or the Congress. No lending program was ever kept secret from the Congress or the public. All of the programs were publicly announced when they were initiated, and information about all lending under the programs was publicly released — both on a weekly basis through the Federal Reserve’s public balance sheet release and through detailed monthly reports to Congress, both of which were also posted on the Federal Reserve’s website.”
Response: Bloomberg’s Nov. 28 story about Fed lending reported that the central bank published regular reports on the scope of borrowings from the discount window and other emergency or temporary programs. The loans were described as “secret” because the amounts, names of borrowers, dates and, often, interest rates weren’t disclosed. The stories reported that the Fed’s rationale for keeping the loans secret was to prevent bank runs.
You can check out the rest of the responses from Bloomberg here…