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Where the Bailout Went Wrong: Parting Shot From TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky (NYT Op-Ed, Video)

Barofsky's last day on the job was last week, and he closed it out with an editorial in the New York Times and a final appearance before Congress.  He is leaving to become a senior fellow at the NYU School of Law.


New York Times

Where The Bailout Went Wrong

By SIGTARP Neil Barofsky

TWO and a half years ago, Congress passed the legislation that bailed out the country’s banks. The government has declared its mission accomplished, calling the program remarkably effective “by any objective measure.” On my last day as the special inspector general of the bailout program, I regret to say that I strongly disagree. The bank bailout, more formally called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, failed to meet some of its most important goals.

From the perspective of the largest financial institutions, the glowing assessment is warranted: billions of dollars in taxpayer money allowed institutions that were on the brink of collapse not only to survive but even to flourish. These banks now enjoy record profits and the seemingly permanent competitive advantage that accompanies being deemed “too big to fail.”

Though there is no question that the country benefited by avoiding a meltdown of the financial system, this cannot be the only yardstick by which TARP’s legacy is measured. The legislation that created TARP, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, had far broader goals, including protecting home values and preserving homeownership.

These Main Street-oriented goals were not, as the Treasury Department is now suggesting, mere window dressing that needed only to be taken “into account.” Rather, they were a central part of the compromise with reluctant members of Congress to cast a vote that in many cases proved to be political suicide.

The act’s emphasis on preserving homeownership was particularly vital to passage. Congress was told that TARP would be used to purchase up to $700 billion of mortgages, and, to obtain the necessary votes, Treasury promised that it would modify those mortgages to assist struggling homeowners. Indeed, the act expressly directs the department to do just that.

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Bloomberg with SIGTARP yesterday...


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Reader Comments (14)

Merrill Lynch, Bank of America Win Dismissal of Race, Gender-Bias Lawsuit

Mar 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Three former employees of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard L. Madoff lost a bid to have the criminal charges against them dismissed.

Mar 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Apparently, America does not mind being fed on. Seems bloody indecent. They in turn feed off others, like if the U.N. permits the next asshole in chief to coordinate feeding on Lybia. My guess is that after England takes the choice cuts, the U.S. will be left with utility meats and the bills. They killed JFK for a reason.
Mar 30, 2011 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
JFK murder was related to his insistence that Dimona be audited and inspected. You all know about Dimona....right? The cutesy executive order that everyone throws up as the cause is meant to lead you astray.
Mar 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterdogismyth
Right with you dogismyth. JFK was apparently hit by three teams of shooters. All in objection to JFK and his brother putting a stop to policies of letting dogs run. From the nuke facility in Israel to jamming corporate centralized banking down the world's throat, criminals and ethnocentric pigs resented JFK and his policies. Others just did not like him. The guy was a womanizer to be sure. And evidence is A. Dulles (CIA) had Miss Monroe done because she threatened JFK with exposure of certain transgressions and other state secrets.
JFK's trust of the Joint Chiefs was betrayed by their claims leading to the Bay of Pigs problem. This set the cabal. JFK and his brother were surrounded by enemies.The nationalizing of Cuban off-shore oil sealed it with the Bush clan (ie.ZapataOil and the three support ships for the Bay of Pigs invasion being the Barbara, The Houston, and the Zapata, GHW Bush's wife, home town, and oil company). A picture exists of GHW Bush leaning against the front wall of the Texas School Book Building that some shots were fired from that morning. He had no alibi.
For over 300 years, the Skull and Bones Society has been pirates working for England. But now I am told they don't do that any more. Now money by the billions is embezzled or stolen through the lack of Skull and Bones controlled S.E.C. action to be placed in accounts in British protectorates. Which Prince Chaalllz tells us are outside of British bank inspecting jurisdiction. Saddam Hussein's Iraq gold was given to Morgan-Stanley to be placed in some of these off-shore out of reach accounts. The gold stolen by Japan during pre WWII days and picked up and hidden by Marcos and later extorted by certain American interests as well as the WWII German Nazi Black Eagle stolen gold kept by certain American CIA/Texas rich oilguy interests were a main reason to cover tracks by dropping the WTC's and audit room at the pentagon on 9/11/2001 .Twasn't bin Laden. The motive included over 200 billion dollars in freshly laundered scrip.
Download Jeff Prager's books QUICK before the internet is destroyed. Happy hunting.
Mar 31, 2011 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
By now, most of us "hope-less" homeowners realize the "bailout" went wrong and we even know how it when wrong. After 2.5 years of "paper chasing" with BofA, I'd like to know WHO is going to make it "right" and HOW?

Are the homeowners, such as myself, that do qualify for a modification through the MHA program just going to be dumped? It is beginning to appear that way from where I sit.

Just another Hope-less homeowner in Georgia!
Mar 31, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterChriste
This is what you get when you vote in criminals. Most Americans vote like they are taking a dump on a camping trip. And they don't bury it. For whatsoever ye soweth, so shall ye reap. I voted McKinney. More than a class act. I hope to do it again.
Mar 31, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
Is Ireland really going bust?

Commentary: There’s a lot invested in keeping the euro going

Apr 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve began debating what comes after a $600 billion bond-buying program scheduled to end in June, according to the minutes of the March 15 meeting released Tuesday.

The minutes show that for a “few” Fed members, economic conditions might unfold in a way that would warrant the launch of an exit plan this year.

At the same time, a few others noted that the Fed’s ultra-low monetary policy may be appropriate “beyond 2011.” It was not clear whether this camp favored another round of asset purchases or simply wanted to hold on to the assets already purchased.

Apr 6, 2011 at 1:33 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday evening said commodity prices are being driven primarily by global supply and demand and don’t threaten a major acceleration of inflation.

Apr 6, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Moody’s downgrades Portugal on bailout fears

Cites increased political, budgetary, economic uncertainty

Apr 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Here's another way it went wrong

Remember Dexia? The Fed Saved Them

Apr 6, 2011 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiberatedCitizen
great link from denninger...thanks...
Apr 7, 2011 at 12:08 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

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