TARP IG: Financial system now in a 'far more dangerous place'
That observation by Neil Barofsky, Inspector General for the nearly $3 trillion in cash the feds have given to banks and generally referred to as the "Troubled Asset Relief Program," sat down with HuffPo's Christine Spolar and Lagan Sebert for an interview.
Neil Barofsky is the man who tracks the historic bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. The 39-year-old special inspector general monitors a dozen separate bailout-related programs that now account for nearly $3 trillion in financial commitments. A former federal prosecutor, Barofsky has subpoena power and has launched about three dozen investigations since being named to the post in December 2008. In an audit released in July, Barofsky made clear that he was intent on demanding transparency from all quarters -- including the U.S. Treasury. His next audit is due in October. During an interview with the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, Barofsky made some striking observations. Among them were:First, it appears that Geithner is not only a tax cheat but a liar for telling Congress transparency is impossible. Secondly, it appears that Obama is a liar when he says things are getting better in the loan industry.
- He found hundreds of banks capable of tracking their use of the TARP money - despite claims by the U.S. Treasury that the task was impossible.
- If the purpose of the TARP rescue was to increase lending, it has failed.
- The U.S. financial system, now dependent on bigger and fewer banks, is shakier than ever.
And third, it isn't only banks that are shaky. The real estate market is still teetering as I point out in a post on my site here.
Here's the video of the interview: