The Aleph Blog » Blog Archive » What Do You Have To Hide? (III)

What Do You Have To Hide? (III)

If it wasn’t enough to have Bloomberg sue the Federal Reserve, now we have Fox Business News suing the US Treasury for refusing to disclose information asked for under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA].

I don’t have much to say here (for now) because I have not seen the complaint yet, but I would say that American citizens are entitled to know the details of the bailout plans because they are a large part of the Federal budget, supported by our taxes.  The same is true for the actions of the Federal Reserve, because they are messing with the value of the US Dollars we hold.

What does the Treasury have to hide?:

  • How were the amounts of relief chosen?
  • Who qualifies for relief, and why did you turn some away?
  • Why did AIG get special treatment?
  • Why didn’t you bail out Lehman?
  • What Constitutional authority do you have for doing any of this?
  • Why do you think that auto companies can get relief here, given the terms of the bailout bill?

This is a mess, though less of a mess than the one at the Federal Reserve.  Our choices are hard today because of previous choices where we relaxed monetary/credit policy at points where it would have been painful.  We are facing far more pain today as a result.

It;s a pity that the incoming administation doesn’t get it.  Reducing leverage slowly should be priority number one.

Bonds, Ethics, Fed Policy, Macroeconomics | RSS 2.0 |

5 Responses to What Do You Have To Hide? (III)

  1. DougM says:

    On the contrary, the government seems to be terrified at any hint of deleveraging, because people have been propping up the economy with borrowed money for a LONG time.

    Imagine what would happen to consumer spending if you took away everyone’s credit cards!

    You are right, however. We do need to deleverage. I’m not sure that the government will be able to withstand the political damage, though.

  2. Jeff says:

    Most of the questions you ask have been answered on the public record. They are available for our evaluation.

    In the case of Lehman, the Fed could not take the collateral because it did not qualify. If they had, you would have been leading the charge in objecting. Treasury had no authority.

    In the case of AIG, there was concern about counter-party risk that extended worldwide. We got a demonstration of that from Lehman.

    I am mystified by your criticism of the Obama administration — yet to weigh in on this.

    As a careful, loyal, respectful, and interested reader of your work, I have some questions. You have been critical of elected officials, appointed officials, independent bodies — in fact — every agency of government. Just how do you think we should be setting policy?

    Is there some other country or system that is doing this better?

    Just wondering…

  3. slick says:

    Well, Jeff, don’t you see? Bloggers all over the world have THE answers. It is such bad luck for all of us that we don’t have the critics/bloggers making the decisions. /sarcasm off.

    I suppose it’s nothing new to see the masses taking potshots from the sidelines. It’s not that they’re necessarily wrong – but they really don’t know. But God forbid they AGREED with the powers-that-be, then how would they appear smart? It’s not an accident that just about everyone seems to know that the Fed and Treasury are doing the wrong thing. The masses (read: those without power) would have us believe that they all know better. I’m glad we’ll never get to see what would happen if the critics had the power.

  4. Jeff, you know that I think highly of you as well. I will give you a response in the form of a post this week, sometime. I need to think about it.

  5. Paul in Kansas City says:

    Great dialogue; Jeff it is good to see you post and I have found your comments on your blog extremely helpful. I wish I were in Chicago to “pick your brain” as one of your (older at 44) students!!

    Merry Xmas/Happy Holidays to All here!

    Paul in Kansas City


David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

Also, though David runs Aleph Investments, LLC, this blog is not a part of that business. This blog exists to educate investors, and give something back. It is not intended as advertisement for Aleph Investments; David is not soliciting business through it. When David, or a client of David's has an interest in a security mentioned, full disclosure will be given, as has been past practice for all that David does on the web. Disclosure is the breakfast of champions.

Additionally, David may occasionally write about accounting, actuarial, insurance, and tax topics, but nothing written here, at RealMoney, or anywhere else is meant to be formal "advice" in those areas. Consult a reputable professional in those areas to get personal, tailored advice that meets the specialized needs that David can have no knowledge of.

 Subscribe in a reader

 Subscribe in a reader (comments)

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Seeking Alpha Certified

Top markets blogs award

The Aleph Blog

Top markets blogs Bull, Boards & Blogs

Blog Directory - Blogged

IStockAnalyst supporter

All Economists Contributor

Business Finance Blogs
OnToplist is optimized by SEO
Add blog to our blog directory.

Page optimized by WP Minify WordPress Plugin