This week on Q&A, our guest is Neil Barofsky, the former Special Inspector General in charge of oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). He discusses his new personal narrative titled “Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.”
Barofsky shares his perspective from serving in his position for both the Bush and Obama administrations. He describes his efforts to ensure against fraud and abuse in the spending of $700 billion allocated for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He explains how he established the office of SIGTARP, and built it to 140 employees who had won criminal convictions of 18 people, and was continuing work on 153 pending civil and criminal investigations when he resigned in 2011. He relates his constant struggle with officials at the Treasury Department, as his office made more than 68 recommendations to protect taxpayers from losses in the programs. He offers accounts of his behind the scenes conflicts with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other representatives from the Treasury department. Barofsky talks about his prior job as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and comments on what it was like to work for the federal government in Washington, DC.
Neil Barofsky is currently a Senior Fellow at the New York University School of Law where he received his law degree in 1995. He was Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for eight years. From December 2008 until March 2011, he was the Special Inspector General in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. This is his first book. He is married, has two children and lives in New York.