Neil Barofsky was at the very center of the U.S. government's response to the 2008 economic collapse. He spent more than two years, until March of 2011, as Special Inspector General for the TARP program, overseeing and monitoring government bailout funds. Now, Barofsky has written a ferocious book detailing how, he says, "Washington abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street." And he's here to take questions from you, the Main Streeters.
I now realize that the American people should lose faith in their government. They should deplore the captured politicians and regulators who took their taxpayer dollars and distributed them to the banks without insisting that they be accountable for how they were spent. They should be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and protects the fortunes of those who drove the system to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly do so again. They should be enraged by the broken promises to Main Street and the unending protection of Wall Street. Because only with this appropriate and justified rage can we sow the seeds for the types of reform that will one day break our system free from the corrupting grasp of the megabanks. It is my own anger that compelled me to write this book.
The pro and anti-Barofsky media tussling in reaction to his book has been a separate drama in itself. Neil Barofsky is here to answer any and all questions you have about TARP, bailouts, the Obama administration, Wall Street fuckery, economics, or anything else, beginning at 2 p.m. today. So put your questions in the box below, now!
Bailout is available in stores today. 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 (TARP). Before that he was a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. You can follow him on Twitter here.