Every crisis has its superstars, right? I mean, the Savings & Loan crisis had famous bad guy, Charles Keating and famous good guy, William K. Black. Michael Milken was around back then as well, but he’s like eggs for breakfast… I can never remember whether he’s good for me or bad for me. The dot-com meltdown had numerous executives with star power, Jeff Bezos was Time’s Man of the Year, as I recall… and Steve Case of AOL buying Time Warner won’t soon be forgotten by those paying attention back then.
Well, our financial and foreclosure crises is no different. On the dark side we have the banksters, like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein, and right next to them we have the government supporters, like Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke. But we also have the pro-consumer/homeowner side of the fight, and we’ve got some real superstars there too. From Max Gardner and April Charney to Elizabeth Warren and… Neil Barofsky.
Neil Barofsky is a name I’ll never forget, and it won’t be hard for anyone to understand why that’s the case when I tell you the reason why. Neil was the Special Inspector General for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program… the “SIGTARP,” and how cool a moniker is that? I’ll never forget Neil because of a sentence I wrote in one of the first articles I ever wrote about him. It was memorable to say the least.
“According to (Neil’s) latest report, the total cost of the TARP bailout of the financial markets may reach $23.7 TRILLION, which represents roughly $77,000 for every human being alive in the U.S.A.”
See what I mean? How could anyone ever forget writing a sentence like that? I’m pretty sure that it was my very first 23 trillion dollar sentence.
From there Neil quickly became one of the very few heroes inside the government. He was openly and appropriately critical of programs that were poorly designed implemented. He was compassionate about the plight of the country’s homeowners when no one else seemed to care. And above all he was clearly both intelligent and smart… and honest in a sea of dishonesty.
So, now he’s left his position as the SIGTARP… and he’s written a book… “Bailout – An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street. And it should be mandatory reading for everyone in America. In fact, if it was… we’d be on our way towards recovery.
I’ll be posting a Mandelman Matters Podcast with Neil next week, but I thought a preview might be in order, along with a link to his book on Amazon.com. So… click the PLAY BUTTON below and you’ll get a 10 minute overview of Neil Barofsky on a MandelmanMatters Podcast Preview… and after that, there’s a few minutes of Mandelman on Tape and I read a few parts from the book so you can see what I’m talking about.
Now, CLICK the BOOK COVER to buy a copy on Amazon.com.