Jesus H. Christ. This book is nothing more than an autobiography of Barofsky's life over the last 10 years or so. It is not, as billed, a history of, nor a socio-political analysis of, nor a thorough examination of the bailouts it claims to be. Instead, what we ...more
One of the best descriptions of Washington I have ever read.
To start off I have to say that, despite the title, the least interesting parts of the book are actually those in which Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), describes the intricacies of how the Treasury, under both Bush and Obama, shoveled more money to undeserving firms, granted banks unnecessary tax privileges, and exacerbated the foreclosure crisis with poorly designed programs ...more
Not much, then, but still an awesome account. This is a book about two friends who took on the Washington establishment and lost. But they won enough battles along the way to make this a fun read.
Neil Barofsky had a very strong background to become the inspector general of TARP. However, he took a bit too long to realise TARP was but a thinly veiled vehicle to shore up the capital of America's biggest banks a ...more
What one learns, overall, is that national politics is substantially dominated by the largest financial institutions. This was as true during the Bush administration as during Obama' ...more
I've been doing a lot of reading about the crisis and the aftermath, but there was still a lot that was new to me. I hadn't realized just how disorganized Treasury was or how involved the White House was in covering Treasury's ass at the expense of the taxpayers.
Apparently the real purpose of HAMP wasn't to help homeowners at all, but to slow down the defaults to ...more
In this bracing, page-turning account of his stranger-than-fiction baptism into the corrupted ways of Washington, Neil Barofsky offers an irrefutable indictment, from an insider of the Bush and Obama administrations, of the mishandling of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund. In vivid behind-the-scenes detail, he reveals proof of the extreme degree to which our government officials bent over backward to serve the interests of Wall Street firms at the expense of the broader public—and at the expen
Barofsky begins by establishing his bona fides, which are considerable. Before becoming the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, he worked as a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York. Among other accomplishments during his career there, he headed the Mortgage Fraud Group and successfully prosecuted a number of cases.
The structure of his narrative is essentially chronological, but along the way Barofsky points to a number of factors contributing to the financ ...more
Barofsky nails it in this book. He starts by being critical of the Bush administration and then states that he is hopping that the new administration (Obama) and his appointments will be ...more
Whether we realize it or not, the government bailouts affected everyone in the United States, and a good amount of the people around the world. That does make it important, I think, for people to have at least a shallow understanding of the forces that shape the economy and our financial system. I think more people should pay atte ...more
--the economic crisis of 2008 is large and involves numbers outside of meaningful human comprehension. 300 billion and 100 dollars take up the same space, typographically. I can't even visualize 100 cupcakes. my friend robin tells me that numbers may not even exist and if they do, are they synthetic or natural, and does that even matter(?)
--remember the crazy days of TARP? OK... how about HAMP? ...The CPP? Neil Barofs ...more
So, I worked for one of the ginormous banks during crisis which the book describes. I knew some of what the book described, but I had no idea ...more
What's relatively fresh is the insider perspective on the petty culture of Washington's insider politics and some of the personalit ...more
Barofsky’s book, however, pulled me back in. It’s an insider account, from the government’s side, of his time as the Inspector General for TARP, aka the Wall Street bailout. The others that I’ve read were all focused on the b ...more