If Barofsky Didn’t Work Out, I Have Another Guest Possibility for CNBC

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 11:45 am

I’d be a bit surprised to see Neil Barofsky grace the airwaves of CNBC again. Clearly the empty suits over there don’t appreciate someone who doesn’t immediately defer to the Masters of the Universe. You simply cannot make the simple case that TARP had a specific goal to increase lending and help homeowners that went [...]

Why the Administration Won’t Fire Ed DeMarco, Cont’d

By: Monday August 6, 2012 11:00 am

I went through last week why I don’t think Ed DeMarco will be fired. Now Neil BArofsky, who has a passing knowledge of the individuals involved, entered this debate. Last week the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco, made a familiar argument. He announced that he would not approve the Obama [...]

FHA Short Refi Program Has Helped Under 1,500 Borrowers in Almost Two Years

By: Monday July 30, 2012 1:55 pm

In discussing the potential options for immediate implementation of Jeff Merkley’s HOLC-type plan for current, underwater homeowners, Mike Konczal reveals a pretty amazing stat that says a lot about the relative seriousness with which the Treasury Department and other federal agencies have attacked the foreclosure crisis thus far: The report notes three potential homes for [...]

Barofsky Gets Flailing Criticisms of His Book on TARP

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 7:37 am

The knives have come out for Neil Barofsky and his book Bailout. Barofsky spares no one in taking on powerful subjects in his book, detailing the way in which the Treasury Department – regardless of the Administration, and more so under Tim Geithner – displays extreme deference to the banks. Geithner responded to the book [...]

SIGTARP Report Shows Failure of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 7:39 am

The LA Times had the goods on the Treasury Department’s Hardest Hit Fund a month ago, showing that in California, the fund only paid out 2% of its allotment in the first 16 months. But that was about one state’s implementation of the program. Maybe other states did better. Well, the answer is no. An [...]

NPR/Pro Publica Story on Fannie/Freddie Principal Mod Analysis Falls Apart

By: Monday March 26, 2012 1:53 pm

Tom Lawler, the housing economist and former chief economist at Fannie Mae, has a commentary up that calls into serious question that NPR/Pro Publica story about how Fannie and Freddie have some secret new analysis showing that principal reductions would be not only cost-effective for the GSEs, but cost-effective to the taxpayer. Let me say [...]

Elizabeth Warren Assails Special AIG Tax Deal Allowing Company to Pay No Taxes on Profits

By: Monday March 12, 2012 10:15 am

Elizabeth Warren, running for Senate in Massachusetts, today called attention to a stealth bailout of AIG through special tax breaks created for them and other bailed-out companies. Warren joined a bipartisan group of her former colleagues on the Congressional Oversight Panel, the group that oversaw TARP, to assail the tax preferences for AIG, and demand [...]

Here We Go Again on the “TARP Worked” Meme

By: Friday March 9, 2012 8:55 am

We’re well into election season and so we’re going to get plenty of assessments of the Obama first term. Paul Glastris at The Washington Monthly has a rosy entry of the genre, describing the “incomplete greatness” of Barack Obama, complete with a list of his 50 greatest accomplishments. You can go ahead and assess them [...]

Berman-Sherman Debate Degrees of Belligerence Toward Iran

By: Wednesday February 22, 2012 7:06 am

If we see military action in Iran in the next several months, you can trace part of the reason back to a redistricting quirk in the San Fernando Valley. Rep. Howard Berman basically ran the state’s redistricting maps, through his brother, when they were drawn by the legislature. But California voters passed an initiative setting [...]

GAO Attacks “TARP Worked” Meme

By: Tuesday January 10, 2012 6:54 am

Along with Dean Baker and a few others, I’ve been fighting a lonely crusade against those who insist that TARP “made money.” First of all, TARP wasn’t even the bailout, it represented about 2% of all emergency programs provided to banks. Second, the banks paying the money back they got at 0% interest and could [...]

S&P Downgrades Big Banks

By: Wednesday November 30, 2011 7:45 am

Steve Randy Waldman gives the last word on how the banks were bailed out, contra the popular opinion that TARP “worked.” I appreciate this analogy: Suppose my kid’s meth habit got the best of him. He’s needs to come up with $100K quick or his dealer’s gonna whack him. But he’s a good kid, really! [...]

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