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Neil Barofsky: CNBC Just 'Krugmanned' Me

Barofsky on Squawk Box this morning:

"TARP was a failure because it was supposed to do more than just shovel money to the banks..."


A war of words then broke out on Twitter involving Becky Quick and Steve Liesman.  

Barofsky's tweet after the appearance:

And his next tweet, which he has since removed:

Liesman just totes the Wall Street party line.

From a recent letter.

Dearest Ben, Tim, and Barack:

Please let me know what you would like me to say on TV.  Fill in the blank space below with your thoughts.






Hugs and QE kisses,




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Reader Comments (33)

Just watched this a bit earlier. Quick and Liesman have turned into ridiculously cartoonish, boot-licking versions of their former boot-licking selves. How does the fat bald man live with himself? At least we get to laugh at their clownish, boot-licking antics.
Aug 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
...my God...how embarrassing can you get?...can the corrupt-big-bank-big-government suck ups get any worse or blatant?
I mean...my gosh... at least 3 of the 4 "squawk box" interviewers had Big-Bank semen dripping off their lips....how disgusting can you get?


RJ O'Guillory
Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family
Aug 22, 2012 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRJ O'Guillory
Again the woman with the crooked hair. How can anyone be taken seriously when they cannot even comb their hair straight. She should be summarily dismissed until she can be more presentable to read the news. I did like the part when Mr. Barofsky called the bald guy silly though.
Aug 22, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
The Daily Bail
We watch CNBC so you don't have to...
Aug 22, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
BTW, just received my brand new copy of Barofsky's "Bailout" yesterday. Great, detailed look at how captured and corrupt our government is. Highly recommended. Paulson's crooked pinky makes a cameo.

Aug 22, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork

Have you noticed a disconnect between Barofsky's book and its reviews in the popular press? The book reads like a how-to manual for defrauding taxpayers through four or five separate TARP programs--which by design facilitate fraud--wherein Treasury officials have been brainwashed by their Wall Street masters to implement its fraudulent schemes. These fraud-bots even come programmed to regurgitate canned responses to Barofsky's fraud concerns even as they are carrying out the massive thefts.

Mainstream reviews overlook the trillion-dollar frauds, every one of which is systematic, that are painstakingly described by Barofsky. They also fail to talk about the complete corruption of the U.S. Treasury, the White House, and much of the Fed that enable these frauds against Main Street.

It's like reading reviews that describing The Terminator as the misadventures of a naughty robot.

I mean, what the fuck?
Aug 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne

I haven't read any of the reviews, but I will now. I'm at about p. 100 or so -- they've just gotten off the conference call with William Dudley about TALF. Your observations reflect one of the things that struck me so far -- that while we have long suspected and long been able to surmise, based on available evidence, that Treasury and Fed favored banks over taxpayers at EVERY TURN, Barofsky gives all the banal details of how that pattern took shape. And God bless him for it.
Aug 22, 2012 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
OK, I'm reading Jackie Calmes piece in the NYT. How's this for a load of horse shit:

"He refers throughout to the $700 billion bailout, never clarifying that less than $300 billion of that amount went out the door by the time TARP expired; that not a penny went to big banks during the Obama administration; and that those banks repaid taxpayers with interest."

A's Yves Smith is wont to say. Um hello? Earth to base! Calmes should read any of our TARP didn't save the world pieces:

Then there's this: "Mr. Barofsky’s book adds little of substance to the mini-library on the worst financial crisis since the Depression."

As you point out, Cheyenne, you wonder how the reviewers missed one of the most important aspects of the book.

Finally, there's this little turd of ignorance: "That his book is being released now, amid the presidential campaign, reflects perhaps the biggest contradiction of all: If Treasury has been making policies exclusively “by Wall Street for Wall Street,” as Mr. Barofsky says, why then has a once friendly Wall Street turned so hostile to President Obama’s re-election?"

Why is something a "contradiction" just because little Jackie is a simplistic little twit of a reader who apparently can't get her head around the idea that the Obama trade has already been liquidated, at a massive profit? Sell the news, Jackie!
Aug 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
The Kirkus review is pretty good:

"The villains are numerous, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the top of the list. Of course, it’s possible that some of the negative characterizations shared by Barofsky involve score-settling or well-intentioned differences. That seems unlikely, however, because the author provides copious evidence of the petty attacks on his office by Geithner, other Treasury Department officials, White House staff members, senators and representatives, coddled journalists and ill-informed bloggers. Barofsky's account contains enough self-deprecation that he does not come off as a holier-than-thou hero.

A courageous, insightful book that offers no cause for optimism."
Aug 23, 2012 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork

By itself, page 25 of "Bailout"--in which we learn of Paulson and Bernanke's confession that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were "days away from collapse" in 2008--adds more of substance to the entire library of finance than the sum total of everything Calmes has ever written.

Better substance still comes in the passages where Geithner unwittingly exposes himself as Wall Street's nozzle in D.C., including his stunning admission about his all-time favorite go-to word, "systemic." These come after p. 100, however. Enjoy.
Aug 23, 2012 at 1:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Which ethnic group controls Wall Street and the media anyways, is it the Irish? Oh yeah, LIesman, typical Irish name!
Fat Arrogant Slob whose devotion is to the state of Israel, and the street of Wall.
Aug 23, 2012 at 1:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterConcrete man
Concrete blockhead,

Hank Paulson is a Christian Scientist. Neil Barofsky is a Jew. John Mack is a Christian Arab. And in some circles, Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Stop being a moron.
Aug 23, 2012 at 1:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
What pissed me off most about this clip was the constant refrain from CNBC that TARP has been profitable. We have refuted that line of bullshit so many times around here it makes my head spin.

May have to bring up the Becky Quick story again from a few years ago.

Aug 23, 2012 at 1:52 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Here's a good write-up of the Barofsky appearance:


But there was one thing that Barofsky didn’t say, but that should have been said: TARP, despite its mind-boggling size, was puny and practically irrelevant compared to the many trillions—how many trillions exactly is still being argued over—the Fed printed and handed out through a variety of programs, and the money started flowing to banks, and not only to American banks but to foreign banks, and to industrial companies like GE and to just about everybody on or off Wall Street who was well enough connected. With this money, they acquired assets and drove up their value. The banks ended up with more free money from the Fed than they knew what to do with, but instead of making low-cost loans, they bought treasuries and other assets, and they made profits not by doing what a bank should be doing but by benefiting from the Fed’s largesse. And they paid out record bonuses.

The largest banks, the prime beneficiaries, were eager to buy back the preferred stock and warrants they’d issued to TARP because it was expensive money compared to what the Fed was handing out, which was free. Thus, the Fed had done what Hank Paulson couldn’t bamboozle Congress into letting him do, namely unlimited funds to any entity, including his own Goldman Sachs. And in doing so, the Fed had bailed out TARP.
Aug 23, 2012 at 4:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail

'Zactly!!!!!! The discount window was the key, not TARP. That's why Mark Pittman sued the Fed. He knew it. Banks gambled and busted out. The only way to save them was thru the Fed...
Aug 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosie
One more shot at Jackie Calmes. She writes; "not a penny went to big banks during the Obama administration." Two things.

1. This is totally disingenuous as the Obama administration begged and pleaded for the second half of TARP to be released before they took office. Summers even wrote a letter asking for it. Plus, billions were given to Citi and BofA in January, days before Obama took office. The Obama admin. was working hand-in-glove with Treasury and Fed to make sure this happened. They even kept Neel Kashkari on as TARP czar after the inauguration.

2. AIG was given tens of billions of dollars in March and maybe one other time -- after the inauguration. Where did that money go? Most of it went to the largest banks, who supposedly didn't get a red cent from Joe Taxpayer during this period. Does funneling the money through AIG mean the banks didn't get the money somehow? Nope. But that's good enough for some people, apparently.
Aug 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
CNBC gave up true journalism long ago to push big bank and FED propaganda to the sheeple. Truth and facts matter little where Wall Street is concerned. Joseph Goebbels would be proud to see his journalistic methods in use today. Nazi Propaganda by Joseph Goebbels 1933-1945, Is probably required reading for CNBC interviewers.
Aug 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
Did big banks pay back their TARP money? Hell, no, they didn't, Becky. They used their TARP money to pay bonuses, which were $144 billion in 2010 alone. But to make it look like they paid back TARP, they robbed Peter to pay Paul by funneling other federal bailout money back to the Treasury, according to the GAO.


And, Becky, let's not forget another major source of backdoor bailout for the bankrupt gamblers on Wall Street: CRIME. That's right, Becky! The S.E.C. levies miniscule fines on the criminals running Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America. These banks rake in 100's of billions every year from a gamut of larcenous offenses, then divide the money between bonuses, wrist-slap fines, political contributions, nominal Treasury payments, and lavish parties for gullible nitwits just like yourself, Becky.

Moreover, even though the TARPies borrow money at a way lower rate than everyone else since their creditors know they'll get paid back 100 cents on the dollar, they STILL can't compete with their non-TARP counterparts when it comes to lending their welfare money to Main Street. That's because they'd rather gamble the money away since they've got legions of brainwashed morons in the media who'll argue for more bailouts when they inevitably go bust--AGAIN.

Aug 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne

I don't understand. Steve Liesman says we MADE $9 billion on the AIG bailout.

Aug 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
That's the NY Fed. They are making a $9 billion profit, and it will come back to the treasury at the end of the year when the Fed does their annual handover of profits to the Treasury.

BUT, the Treasury is still about $25 billion in the hole on it's separate investment in AIG.

I will double check the number.
Aug 23, 2012 at 5:20 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Steve, any idea how Treasury is accounting for what AIG still owes? I.e., are they booking unrealized gains based on the current stock price?
Aug 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
The last Daily TARP update is from 7/25 and they have a 5B write-off based on the stock price. This allows them to put the outstanding balance at a mere 30B or so instead of 35B or so. Big deal. I don't know what they are counting as a write-off/loss at this point -- probably not much changed.

Anyhow, I'm just reminded of what a screwed-up world it is when those who fancy themselves defenders of capitalism feel compelled to defend taxpayer funded bank bailouts -- as if acknowledging criticism of the bailouts would somehow be tantamount socialism.
Aug 23, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
Looks like Treasury has about $25 billion in AIG stock and at current prices would make about a $5 billion profit. That came from Liesman and this:

Aug 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
And it looks like Treasury put in $41.5 billion originally. See the table at the bottom of this story:

Aug 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Another insider account of Wall Street's most profitable plantation of slaves and slave assistants, referred to by rubes as "Congress" and "regulators," has arrived. In "The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins," Jeff Connaughton, who was Senator Kaufman's Chief of Staff in the 2009-10 congressional term, reports on a culture that affirmatively celebrates incest:

"The Blob (it’s really called that) refers to the government entities that regulate the finance industry — like the banking committee, Treasury Department and S.E.C. — and the army of Wall Street representatives and lobbyists that continuously surrounds and permeates them. The Blob moves together. Its members are in constant contact by e-mail and phone. They dine, drink and take vacations together. Not surprisingly, they frequently intermarry."


In case you've forgotton, Kaufman warned about the dangers of high-frequency trading two months before the flash crash, which the S.E.C. blamed on a Kansas City mutual fund--a transparently ridiculous and false diversion from the truth that was conclusively demolished by Nanex.

http://www.nanex.net/FlashCrashFinal/FlashCrashAnalysis_Theory.html ("the Waddell & Reed trades were not the cause, nor the trigger")
http://www.nanex.net/FlashCrashFinal/FlashCrashAnalysis_WR_Update.html ("the W&R trades are practically absent during the torrential sell-off that began at 14:44:20")
Aug 23, 2012 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Pitch, Cheyenne, D.B. L.C. In reading Barofsky's book, cannot help but notice that most of the guys he talks about either in Washington or N.Y. are now white collar crime attorneys. He mentions the pay off that many guys receive when they play along. Mr. Barofsky seems to be the only one, so far , that has stayed away from that kind of living. Is this an anomaly? Also if a prosecutor can go from making cases against these guys, why can't say Holder and company go from white collar attorneys to bull dog prosecutors. It would seem that Mr. Holder would know how these guys work. Just sayin.
Aug 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Good question and observation about Holder,et al. The answer, of course, is obvious.

And as far as I know, Barofsky is pretty much an anomaly. Fortunately he has an impeccable resume and pedigree and so he can't be dismissed so easily. I've made the point before, but the fact that Barofsky is singled out as an oddball simply shows how far our culture of public service has fallen. Our grandparents' generation (I'm in my 30's) was imbued with a sense of duty and morality that is utterly alien to most people my age -- at least to those who pursue positions of power and influence. It's all about the next career move, not making waves with the wrong people and not questioning the status quo -- even when it's rotten to the core.
Aug 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPitchfork
Back in April, CNBC was "freaking out" over the crap ratings that Squawk Box was getting.


At the time, Squawk Box garnered 6.6% of the 6-9 a.m. audience for cable news shows.


Rather than clean up its pro-Wall Street porno act, CNBC has deteriorated. Now its effort to serve as the banksters' no.1 TV whore are so over-the-top that despite its pitiful ratings even the Columbia Journalism Review felt obligated to call out the show:


The long article points to the show's "interview" of Neil Barofsky as its first example of CNBC's slavishness to Wall Street. What the article does not point out is that Squawk Box's ratings have sunk even further and now threaten to breach the 5% mark:


So if you've ever wondered just how stupid Steve and Maria really are, here's your answer: so stupid that they can't even figure out how to help themselves.
Aug 29, 2012 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Took me a while to get through all those.

CNBC, pissing off our viewers, all day every day.

The only major network that is put on mute by most viewers.
Aug 30, 2012 at 12:44 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Wow. It just keeps getting worse for CNBC, as ratings published today reveal. Squawk Box has blown right through the 5% floor to penetrate the 4% mark with a sub-abysmal 73 rating.


Interestingly, in a week that's pretty much down for cable across the boards (presumably due to the election circus), CNBC did make a few moves in its evening lineup that worked decisively to its benefit:

At 5 pm, replaced “Fast Money” with “Crime Inc. Grand Theft Auto,” ratings increased from 149 to 248.

At 6 pm, replaced “Mad Money” with “Crime Inc. War Counterfeit Goods,” ratings increased from 103 to 241.

At 7 pm, replaced “Kudlow Report” with “Crime Inc. Secrets for Sale,” ratings increased from 178 to 281.

So basically, reports about the financial crimes of small-time chiselers are BLOWING AWAY the network’s regular diet of Wall Street bubble gum fantasies.

Look at those ratings increases, Liesman. They’re fatter than your ass, big boy. Time to get real or get gone.
Sep 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
He aint going anywhere. CNBC says it all does it not? He and the others will tow the company line and that is that.
Sep 5, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT

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