In the movie that gets made some day about Bloomberg's lawsuit against the Federal Reserve, Mark Pittman will be the rumply crusading reporter who slashes through the government bureaucracy to shine a disinfecting light on the sinister scheming of greedy bankers.
Once you get past the details about complex lending mechanisms and the scope of Freedom of Information Act exemptions, it isn't plain old good versus evil, actually, but a balancing of interests.
And it's about more than $2 trillion in taxpayer funds that Federal Reserve Banks loaned to struggling private banks in spring of 2008 to help counteract the nation's financial crisis and calm a panicky stock market.
Who got it and why? And why shouldn't the public get to know?
Pittman, a Bloomberg News reporter, used FOIA to ask the Fed, the nation's central bank, for the names of banks that received loans through several emergency programs, the amounts they received and the collateral they provided to get the funds.
The Fed wouldn't provide the information.
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