Sunday, March 27, 2011

The stigma of taking public money

Even corporations are ashamed!

As it turns out, the information about Morgan Stanley (MS)’s $3.5 billion discount-window loan has been sitting on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s website since last month. The panel didn’t mention it in its final report. And nobody had written a story about it before. So there: Now it can be told.

. . . .

The Fed’s arguments for keeping this sort of data secret were transparently bogus. One Fed economist, Brian Madigan, said in an affidavit that disclosing discount-window borrowers’ names “can quickly place an institution in a weakened condition vis- a-vis its competitors by causing a loss of public confidence in the institution, a sudden outflow of deposits (a ‘run’), a loss of confidence by market analysts, a drop in the institution’s stock price, and a withdrawal of market sources of liquidity.”

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