Bernanke Interview Will Stay Secret


The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created by Congress to investigate and report on the causes of the market meltdown late last decade, won’t publicly release its full 2009 interview with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a commission spokesman said.

The FCIC is withholding records when there is “legal or proprietary information in those interviews that meant they could not be made public,” or no audio, transcript or summary exists, Tucker Warren, the FCIC’s spokesman, said after the panel yesterday released more than 300 witness interviews. He declined to elaborate on Bernanke. The interview is among records being transferred to the National Archives that will be made public in five years, Warren said.

“There’s absolutely no reason to hold it,” unless it contains proprietary details about banks or international trading, said University of Texas Professor Robert Auerbach in Austin, a former congressional economist and author of the 2008 book Deception and Abuse at the Fed.

“Bernanke will be long gone when it comes out, and that’s not a way to establish responsibility,” Auerbach said.

The interview is quoted in the congressionally authorized panel’s final report, which cites the November 17, 2009, “closed-door” session in 11 footnotes. The Fed chief discussed a range of topics including the central bank’s failures and why the government rescued Bear Stearns and let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt, the FCIC report shows.

Complete article via Bloomberg

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