In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
On Making Sen$e this week we've been featuringouttakes from my interview with top TARP cop Neil Barofsky, appointed by President Bush and retained by President Obama to prevent fraud in the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. From the start, Barofsky has been acidly critical of the government's handling of bailout money. His chief complaint: that the banks were bailed out, not the victims of predatory lending. In this excerpt, Barofsky explains why he thinks it was a conscious decision.
For a response on how the TARP funds were handled we reached out to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, but his office refused comment. Instead, you can see his exchange with fellow PBSer Charlie Rose on Barofsky's book, 'Bailout', here in "An Hour with Timothy Geithner."
In the last installment of our week with Barofsky we'll ask him why, if he was so impressed with Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank as a legislator, he's so unimpressed with the legislation known as Dodd-Frank. And the oft-combative Congressman will then explain noncombatively why Barofsky has misunderstood the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown- NewsHour's blog of news and insight.