An insider of both the Bush and Obama administrations offers an irrefutable indictment of the mishandling of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailouts and the extreme degree to which our government officials—from both parties—served the interests of Wall Street at the expense of the public.
From his first day on the job as the special inspector general in charge of overseeing the distribution of the bailout money, Neil Barofsky found that the officials at the Treasury Department in charge of the bailouts were in thrall to the interests of the big banks. In vivid behind-the-scenes detail he reveals how they steadfastly failed to hold the banks accountable even as they disregarded major job losses caused by the auto bailouts and refused to help struggling homeowners. He discloses how the team at the Treasury under Secretary Timothy Geithner worked with Wall Street executives to design programs that would have funneled vast amounts of taxpayer money to their firms and allowed them to game the markets and make huge profits with almost no risk and no accountability. Providing stark details about how—through a combination of sheer incompetence and a profound disregard of the plight of homeowners—the interests of the broader public were betrayed, he recounts how an increasingly aggressive war was waged by the Treasury against his efforts to raise the alarm about the failures.
Bailout is a riveting account of his plunge into the political meat grinder of Washington, as well as a vital revelation of just how captive to Wall Street our political system is and why the too-big-to-fail banks have only become bigger and more dangerous in the wake of the crisis.
Neil Barofsky is currently a senior fellow at New York University School of Law. From December 2008 until March 2011, he served as the special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Before that he was a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Bailout is his first book.
©2012 Neil Barofsky (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Former President Bush often gets a bad rap, and often rightfully so, for his handling of the economy but after reading 'Bailout', shame should fall on the Obama administration and especially the Treasury Department and it's head secretary Geithner. The duty of the Inspector General is to protect the tax payer so who would have thought that his biggest obstacle would be our own Government under Geithner. If this book does not make you mad, nothing will.
BA English MA Political Science Political Independent Intellectually curious Critical reader
This is probably a one off for Mr. Barofsky. I doubt he will be in a position of power like this with an interesting story to tell any time soon.
Tim Geithner. You gotta love a guy that is a tool of the machine and is unyielding in that duty.
This book gives really interesting insight into the financial crisis with details and explanations that are completely missed by many of the other books available on the topic. Mr. Barofsky is obviously a nobody sent to D.C. to do a thankless job. His perspective of the mortgage crisis is important because he looks at what was happening on the ground floor with a lot more detail. Most other books detail the CDOs, CDS, and securitization issues, but Mr. Barofsky spends a significant amount of time on the point of contact between the public and the mortgage dealer.
The reviews pan Mr. Barofsky as a hyperbolic bean counter attempting to go whistle blower in an attempt to minimize his profile and story. The problem is that his story and experience ring true for anyone who has been personally involved with a mortgage issue in the last five years.
TARP was a give away to the banks. Our financial regulatory policies are being dictated to our Congress by those who are being regulated. The status quo in Washington is a hinderance to the nation's future growth.
All of this is true...but the only way it can change is through a duly elected official who has a constituency that supports them, not a presidential appointment that can be quickly and quietly replaced via Friday afternoon press release.
Internal audit can perform a valuable function. The author came across as a bitter sole who confused audit with strategy and big picture with process control. A very valuable function to have in place, particularly given the size of dollars involved. But the author seems to confuse his function with the vision and actions (sometimes wrong or misguided) that were taken in the midst of a crisis. All in all, a waste of time spent listening to this.
finding out what happened in the treasurary
very easy to listen to
must read for every American citizen
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