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Kasriel: Fed Secretive for Good Reason

By    |   Monday, 31 Aug 2009 05:10 PM

Northern Trust's Paul Kasriel says the real reason the Fed doesn't want us to see its books is not that it fears hampering competition but that The Fed is scared to death that the revelation will trigger another run on some of those banks.

“If the Fed is required to publish the names of financial institutions to which it has extended credit and this publication induces financial institutions to refrain from borrowing from the Fed, one can only speculate if this would be the tinder for another liquidity conflagration in the coming months,” Kasriel observes.

He notes that in 1932, when the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) made public the names of banks that had borrowed from it, current borrowers quit borrowing and prospective borrowers quit coming.

Kasriel points out that because we now have the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the probabilities and magnitude of depositor runs on banks are far less today than they were in 1933.

But, he says, there could well be runs on banks if fears of financial problems within those banks arise.

The central bank on Monday won a court delay of an order that it reveal banks that have participated in its emergency lending programs and how much money those banks received.

Also, the FDIC said this week it has no plans to borrow money despite the chance that it could soon go broke.

The rescue fund has fallen to 0.22 percent of insured deposits. Congress requires it to keep above 1.15 percent.

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Northern Trust's Paul Kasriel says the real reason the Fed doesn't want us to see its books is not that it fears hampering competition but that The Fed is scared to death that the revelation will trigger another run on some of those banks.“If the Fed is required to publish...
kasriel,fed,secrets
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2009-10-31
Monday, 31 Aug 2009 05:10 PM
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