Bailout

  • by Neil Barofsky
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Every American Should Read This

If you are an American, you need to read this. It will truly frighten you to learn just how much the government was working AGAINST you when the financial markets got in trouble... UNLESS you're the CEO of a big bank, and then the government is actually YOUR BEST FRIEND! It truly amazes me how the big banks can break laws, make risky bets, and walk all over the average citizen, and yet our government REWARDS them for it!! This is stuff that would send any "average" citizen to jail, and it's getting the big banks (and their CEOs) REWARDED. Yes, a few trillion in free money, for doing nothing, is a reward.

Before reading this book, I knew it was bad, but WOW!! It is much worse than I thought. Bravo to Barofsky for having the balls to write this.

It is non-political, fair, and fact-filled. What's really impressive is how the author took a subject that is boring, and over most people's heads, and made it exciting and easy to comprehend. You don't need an MBA to enjoy this book... even though what our government did to us should make you sick.

Narrator is great.

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- aaron "Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!"

Barofsky Goes to Washington

Barofsky tells the story of how he was the US prosecutor working on major drug cases out of Columbia but became the top cop put in charge of policing the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Unlike many other books about the debt crisis and the bailout this one tells the personal story of one of the inside players. The story format makes the book a much more enjoyable read than the traditional here are the facts with some questionable conclusions style.

The theme of the book is how the Washington culture is toxic with everyone serving only their own interests. Of course Barofsky paints himself as the hero who will not be corrupted by the pressure to conform in his role as the Inspector General of the TARP. He describes how the circumstances and actions of the people at the Treasury Department hindered his ability to have much of any effect at all on how the program was implemented and how the money was used. He blames most of the problems of the TARP on the people at the Treasury Department and claims most of the failures would not have happened if only they had heeded his advice such as to require strict income verification for trial mortgage modifications. He depicts Timothy Geithner as a stubborn and angry bureaucrat who does not listen to reason.

The revelation of the book is that despite the justification of TARP to help the average American underwater in their mortgage and to be a strategic strengthening of the balance sheets of sound and secure companies it was in fact always intended by the Treasury Department to be just an instant cash infusion into companies at the brink of collapse with no string attached. This is what Barofsky says is the real reason why the Treasury stifled transparency and made the job of Inspector General practically a joke. There???s nothing really shocking in this book except perhaps the confrontation between Barofsky and Geithner near the end. This book is clearly Barofsky???s attempt to vindicate himself for the failure of the TARP, but it does make for interesting reading, not only because it???s a story about the bailout but because it???s a story about what???s wrong with Washington and why it???s so hard to change.
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- Graham

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-24-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.