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The U.S. Treasury Department has decided against publicly releasing key details of the contract it awarded Bank of New York Mellon to keep the books for the government’s purchase of toxic securities. In a publicly released copy of the contract, the Treasury blacked out how much it will pay the bank for its role in the government’s $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.
The Washington Post first briefly noticed the redactions. Meanwhile, Bailoutsleuth, a site created by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, has been tracking the redactions and flagging more examples.
The government’s justification for blacking out the monthly fees set in the publicly bid contract aren’t clear.
“It looks like a reflexive, ‘we don’t want to tell you,’” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “I just don’t see the rationale.”
The government released the redacted contract one day after a Treasury Department official touted the bailout plan’s transparency.... That same day, the Treasury compelled Bank of New York Mellon to take a $2 billion infusion of cash in exchange for preferred stock.