Neil Barofsky on Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street

2012 Financial History and Practices Lecture/Symposia Series

Neil Barofsky on <i>Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street</i>

Thursday, October 25, 2012 | 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Neil Barofsky was the first Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). He was nominated to the position by the President and confirmed by the Senate in late 2008, and was sworn into office on December 15, 2008. In that role, Barofsky audited and investigated the purchase, management and sale of assets under the $700 billion TARP program. Barofsky established the Office of the SIGTARP, and built it to a point where, at the time of his departure in 2011, it had 140 employees, had won criminal convictions of 18 people, helped keep $555 million in taxpayer funds from being lost to fraud, provided the Treasury with 68 recommendations to protect taxpayers from losses in programs, and was continuing to work on 153 pending civil and criminal investigations, including 74 involving executives and senior officers at financial institutions who received or applied for TARP money.

Barofsky is currently a Senior Fellow at NYU’s Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, an adjunct professor at the law school, and is affiliated with the Mitchell Jacobsen Leadership Program in Law and Business. He is the author of Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.

About Bailout

In this bracing, page-turning account of his stranger-than-fiction baptism into the corrupted ways of Washington, Neil Barofsky offers an irrefutable indictment, from an insider of the Bush and Obama administrations, of the mishandling of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund. In vivid behind-the-scenes detail, he reveals proof of the extreme degree to which our government officials bent over backward to serve the interests of Wall Street firms at the expense of the broader public—and at the expense of effective financial reform.

During the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Barofsky gave up his job as a prosecutor in the esteemed US Attorney’s Office in New York City, where he had convicted drug kingpins, Wall Street executives, and perpetrators of mortgage fraud, to become the special inspector general in charge of oversight of the spending of the bailout money. From his first day on the job, his efforts to protect against fraud and to hold the big banks accountable for how they spent taxpayer money were met with outright hostility from the Treasury officials in charge of the bailouts.

Presentation will be followed by Q&A, book signing and reception. Reservations required. Admission is free for Museum members, or $15 for non-members. For additional information, please contact Tempris Small at 212-908-4110 or