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.
Wednesday we present the second installment of outtakes from my encounters with Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector General for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, known in Washington, D.C. as the SIGTARP. (I'm not making this up.) Appointed by President George W. Bush and retained by President Obama, Barofsky became increasingly critical of the government's handling of bailout money. His chief complaint: that the banks were bailed out, not the victims of predatory lending.