Fascinating (and not in a good way) insight into the priorities of the US treasury. The mindset according to Neil Barofsky was entirely focused on saving the banks and not at all on the ‘little people’.
The government’s special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (the “TARP” bank bailouts) – Neil M. Barofsky
‘Americans should lose faith in their government. They should deplore the captured politicians and regulators who distributed tax dollars to the banks without insisting that they be accountable. The American people should be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and protects those who drove it to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly do so again.
Only with this appropriate and justified rage can we hope for the type of reform that will one day break our system free from the corrupting grasp of the megabanks.’
Aug 2, 2012 – From the Majority Report, live M-F 12 noon EST and via daily podcast at http://Majority.FM:
Former Tarp Inspector General, Neil Barofsky joined Sam to talk about his new book “Bailout: An Insider Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.” Neil and Sam discussed the widespread fraud in the TARP program, how the HAMP program was designed to provide a “soft landing” for banks the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street and getting a “Bullet or Bribe” Colombian Drug Cartel Style offer from the former head of TARP, Herb Allison.
In a different video interview, with Business Insider, Barofsky touched on everything from the announcement that Americans holding Fannie and Freddie mortgages would not get a principal write downs, to the general culture in Washington.
Barofsky said the incentive structure in the nation’s capitol is all wrong. There’s a revolving door between bureaucrats in Washington and Wall Street banks, and politicians just want to keep their jobs.
Barofsky said that for regulators it’s something like this:
“You can play ball and good things can happen to you get a big pot of gold at the end of the Wall Street rainbow or you can do your job be aggressive and face personal ruin…We really need to rethink how we govern and how regulate”.
The big question for the British public, is whether the same mindset has operated across UK government – because overwhelmingly, the evidence would suggest that the priority has also been to protect the banks at all costs, regardless of the cost to ordinary people’s lives.