Bailout Transparency Fading Fast

The Tribune-Review reports Bloomberg News has filed a FOIA and a federal lawsuit seeking to force the disclosure of recipients who received $2 trillion in emergency loans from American taxpayers.

Despite Sec. Paulson’s repeated promises that transparency would be a priority, instances of censorship continue. Banks claim revealing the names of these recipients could do more to harm their financial standings and Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, says, “You have to balance the need for transparency with protecting the public interest.”

But transparency is in the public’s best interest. If companies are willing to accept taxpayer funded loans they need to accept high standards of transparency.

People are searching for someone to hold accountable for the current financial mess. And while that may not be possible, given the scope of the meltdown, increasing transparency will bring needed accountability and help put an end to the constant cycle of finger pointing. Plus spending transparency allows the media and other outside groups to hold officials accountable instead of relying on the government to police itself. Just take a look at our state legislator if you think accountability can come from within.

For more on how transparency can lead to accountability click here.