Neil Barofsky on ‘Foaming the Landing’ for Banks


On Making Sen$e this week we’ve been featuring outtakes 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.

Making Sense

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 Making Sen$e page, where correspondent Paul Solman answers your economic and business questions