Former Special United States Treasury Department Inspector General to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program, Neil Barofsky stopped by The Daily Show Thursday for an extended interview. Barofsky said the problem with TARP was that it was, effectively, like “putting a Band-Aid on this gaping chest wound.”
A former federal prosecutor, Barofsky was on the show to promote a book on his experience with TARP. In the interview, Barofsky said Treasury officials told him, “don’t make too much waves, but don’t appear like you’re too comfortable” and offered advice on how to “get a higher and better job in Washington.” Barofsky says talk of TARP’s original purpose of helping homeowners was quickly ditched in favor of Congress and Treasury saying “Let’s make sure [the banks] are still able to pay their billions of dollars in bonuses.” He called it “an incredible double standard.”When asked why the program didn’t work, Barofksy said the TARP program was not effective because of Washington’s culture and a fear to bring down the economy by upsetting powerful banking institutions. Because of the time limits for broadcast, The Daily Show posted an extended interview online. Watch it below.