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.
TARP Top Cop Neil Barofsky on Drug Lords and Mortgage Fraud
On Making Sen$e lately we've been featuring outtakes from my encounters with especially intriguing interviewees. The most recent was Neil Barofsky, appointed by President Bush and retained by President Obama to prevent fraud in the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). From the start, Barofsky has been acidly critical of the government's handling of the bailout money. His chief complaint: that the banks were bailed out, not the victims of predatory lending.
The NewsHour aired the basic interview last Thursday, Aug. 2. This week, we present excerpts we wish we'd had time to run, including this first one -- on why Barofsky took a job he didn't want, his brush with death in his previous job (pursuing drug lords in Colombia), and what he learned prosecuting mortgage fraud before the crisis hit.
This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown- NewsHour's blog of news and insight.