Streams

The TARP Bailout

Monday, July 30, 2012

Neil Barofsky was appointed to be the Special Inspector General in charge of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and he describes the ways of Washington and the mishandling of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund. In Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street, he reveals the ways he thinks government officials bent over backward to serve the interests of Wall Street firms at the expense of the broader public—and at the expense of effective financial reform.

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Neil Barofsky
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Comments [11]

Barb C from Montclair

I listened in horror, frozen in an extended "driveway moment" as Barofsky confirmed every one of my worst fears about the Obama Adm's Treasury Dept. This book could singlehandedly cause him to lose the election as the most effective suppressant of the Democratic GOTV.

maybe I missed it as my brain periodically hit overload, but where was the obvious question: WOULD A ROMNEY TREASURY BE ANY MORE "FOR" THE AVERAGE TAXPAYER? Duh, I don't think so. Without that as a banner over this whole damning indictment, this is devastating for Obama.

according to the NYTimes article ("Into the Bailout Buzz Saw"), Barofsky's book "ends on a hopeful note" and that he's trying to stir the public to "appropriate and justified rage" enough to force meaningful change: if this is presented as just an indictment of the Obama Treasury, I fear teh opposite reaction.

Jul. 30 2012 08:07 PM

Mr. Plautz, an Inspector General is NOT an Attorney General. He can report to the TARP head & the TARP Oversight Committee of Congress (both of whom won't act out of self-interest.

Without public & WH & Congressional pressure DOJ won't act, FTC won't act, etc. In some departments depending on Congressional restrictions, an IG may not be able to directly refer wrongdoing to the DOJ, SEC, etc.

Jul. 30 2012 01:56 PM
David

jgarbuz from Queens, you wrote: "I don't think the banks should have been bailed out."

I KNOW that the banks should NOT have been bailed out. The whole purpose of a market economy is that those who run their businesses efficiently—by serving their customers, and making a profit by doing so—stay in business. Those who don't MUST go out of business so that the resources that they are wasting in their poorly-run businesses can be taken over by those people who are able to use those resources in an economically efficient matter.

It's certainly not the role of ANY government to bail out their FAVORED business buddies under the lie of "Too big to fail" at the expense of the rest of the people running successful businesses and the customers patronizing those businesses by taxing those successful businesses and customers to pay for the incompetence of the failed business owners. (BTW, this goes for failing auto manufacturers as well as failing banks.)

Jul. 30 2012 01:30 PM
Bob from NJ

Banks: They are Borg. Resistance is futile.

Jul. 30 2012 12:38 PM
eleniNYC from Jackson Heights

I really think its hilarious that Wall Street / DC connection is paralled to Pablo Escobar and the Cocaine Cartel to the court systems in Medallin and the US . Unfortunately -- it's TRUE. It seems rather extraordinary that Mr. Barofsky managed to get this book published and even more that he is still alive. Perhaps that it should not come as a surprise owing to the fact that we have a Corporatacracy, which is what happens when there is deregulation in banking and other areas. Where companies are allowed to buy each other out and banks are allowed to merge. Our Capitalist Democracy has indeed become a Wall Street cartel.

Q.:?? Who is the "Pablo Escobar" here?? : Tim Geitner or Wall Street

Jul. 30 2012 12:32 PM
Joseph Cavalieri from east village

After all of this, I'm wondering where Neil does his banking? one of the huge banks?

Jul. 30 2012 12:32 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Disgusting. "We are all honest here" nudge-nudge...wink-wink

Clearly, the flabby response of the Fed to protect the taxpayer's is a symptom not a cause. They can do no better under the rules they all operate under.

1) Public campaign financing.
2) Clearer distinction between not-for-profit and for-profit news reporting.
3) More seats in the House, so that more points of view are represented.

Possibly, our last chance to set this straight is this November. We won't fix it all in one election but we can start.

Jul. 30 2012 12:30 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Throughout the history of civilization and trade, moneylenders have been loved and persecuted, just like Jews. :) When you really need money, you bless the lender and his children. But when times get bad and you can't repay, you want to kill "the usurer."

I don't think the banks should have been bailed out. They just should never have been allowed to engage yet again in risk trading. But the gummint said we should all be homeowners; that it was good for America and social stability. Also, homebuilding provided jobs for low educated natives and even for illegal immigrants.

Jul. 30 2012 12:29 PM

What's Barofsky doing now?

What does he think of the fact that Obama has utterly dropped the ball on any kind of substantive investigation, much less prosecution, of Wall Street criminals?

And what does Barofsky think of the anonymous attacks on him that the Washington Post slavishly printed without attribution?

Jul. 30 2012 12:15 PM
Robert Plautz from New York City

I have not read Mr. Barofsky's book, so maybe I am out of line and if so I'm sure I will be corrected. I have however been listening to a lot of interviews recently of Mr. Barofsky about his book. What troubles me is that Mr. Barofsky seems to be very critical of what went on when he was at the epicenter of what was happening. He blames other people. Can Mr. Barofsky point to any statements or actions he said or did AT THE TIME these bad things were happening. What did he do to correct thmistakes? e Did he sit idle by? My recollection is that Mr. Barofsky was appointed to make sure the bad things that he claims did not happen. I thought he was supposed to be sort of an inspector gneral.

Thank you,

Robert Plautz

Jul. 30 2012 12:10 PM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Can you please ask Neil Barofsky to address how bank manipulation of the LIBOR rate may have caused banks to pay less on their TARP obligations than they would have otherwise owed the government.

Jul. 30 2012 12:04 PM

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