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Fed Data Dump on Eve of Meeting on Capital One - ING, Withholds 230 Pages

By Matthew R. Lee

SOUTH BRONX, February 7 -- Amid more and more criticism the Federal Reserve's transparency, it has sent Inner City Press thousands of pages in a data dump, while withholding 230 pages, tonight on the eve of its February 8 meeting to consider allowing Capital One to buy ING Direct and become the fifth largest bank in the US.

Click here to view the Fed's February 7 FOIA Denial,saying there are 230 more pages withheld in full, and click here to view the redacted documents that the Fed provided to Inner City Press.

Inner City Press immediately appealed under the Freedom of Information Act:

The Federal Reserve should re-open its comment period, inter alia following its now appealed under the Freedom of Information Act denial of February 7, 2011 -- emailed to ICP after 5 pm today -- of ICP's FOIA request of October 29, 2011. This data dump is beneath the Federal Reserve.

The Fed took MORE THAN THREE MONTHS to provide even the redacted documents it now has, less than 24 hours before the Board intends to meet on, and presumably rubber stamp, Capital One's ING DIRECT application. From the record belated provided, much has been redacted -- ICP is immediately appealing, and demanding to be given all responsive records requested more than three months ago, during the comment period, in order to comment on them.

As simply one example, the Fed held ex parte communications with Capital One on November 21, writing a memo ostensibly as a tip of the hat to the rules against ex parte communications. Then the Fed withhold the summary under Exemption 4.

The Fed has even made withholdings from its own August 29, 2011 questions to Capital One. This is an outrage and is hereby being appealed from.

This last minute data dump is beneath the Federal Reserve - if that's even possible. The Fed is increasingly abusing and evading FOIA and this must be not only reversed, but explained and accountability imposed in response to this appeal. This information must be reviewed, and released and comment allowed thereon, by ICP, NCRC and others, before the Fed considers approving the Capital One - ING proposals.

As argued in Inner City Press' FOIA appeals, rather than going forward and rubber stamping Capital One's applications, the Fed should re-open its comment period

For the reasons of record, and as argued by NCRC, the Federal Reserve should re-open the comment period to fully consider Capital One's related proposal to buy the ex-Household predatory lending platform from HSBC, and the related stealth ING proposals.

  This is a pattern.

    Click here to view the Fed's February 3 FOIA Denial, from which Inner City Press has already appealed, and click here to view the heavily redacted 34 page document that the Fed provided to Inner City Press (and Capital One to NCRC and the other protesters from which it had withheld this information). There is more.

Fed governors, nominated hedge funder not yet shown

Now, even the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency which is considering Capital One's HSBC application has taken to withholding in full information concerned Capital One, then making it difficult to appeal. But that's another story - watch this site.

Footnote: When JPMorgan Chase executive William Daley left as President Obama's chief of staff, to be replaced by Citigroup Jacob Lew, some wondered if JPM Chase might be losing access with Obama.

But now nominated to the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the head of JPMC's investment bank, Jeremiah Norton.  That is, an executive of one of the largest recipients of federal bailout funds is being placed to guard the FDIC, which insures deposits.

The move is similar tothenomination in December of a hedge fund executive from the Carlyle Group, Jay Powell, for an open seat on the Federal Reserve Board.

 Beyond the obvious overtones of putting foxes to guard the chicken house, what in fact was learned from the global financial meltdown? What conflict of interest safeguards would be in place? What for example will Occupy Wall Street do? Who can still say that the Emperor has no clothes? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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