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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Elle on 11-12-13
Barofsky's Bio of the time he was a TARP Watchdog
This book is a great story if you know absolutely nothing about how Washington works. Barofsky takes the reader from the beginning where he was just a lawyer from the south district of NY investigating & prosecuting fraud and drug crimes. His boss who passed him up for one promotion was now recommending him for a job in Washington as an insider. Barofsky's entire perspective is the journey of a man who becomes a Washington insider by taking a job he never expected to get in a town and political climate he never fancied.
Chapter 1-2 are about how he came to be confirmed as an inspector general. He gives great anecdotes and quotes from people he came into contact with or people he worked with or from his own family members to paint a picture.
I'm currently on Chapter 3 where he now has the job, he recruited a talented buddy of his to be his partner although only one of them would get the risk and reward for any of their work done. He describes his office, his interaction with Henry "Hank" Paulson. How wet behind the ears he was in Washington even being naive at times. It's a great account for anyone taking a job in Washington where they're having to start an entire dept/operation (well funded operation) in Washington from the ground up. Human mistakes will be made.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Julie on 04-28-13
Wonder why the banks won and homeowners lost?
Would you consider the audio edition of Bailout to be better than the print version?
If you've ever pondered that question, this book will give you the answer. The subtitle delivers on its promise though there is a lot of political infighting detail that's probably only interesting to those who deal in that world.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
A little too much irony in his voice
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me furious, and all the more appalled at the blinder-wearing WonderBoy and defender of concentrated wealth, Mr. Timothy Geitner. Few people could have served the oligarchy of self-interested bankers looking to screw ordinary citizens better than he did.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful