Neil Barofsky To Step Down As Head Of SIGTARP

Tyler Durden's picture

And so, the departures will continue (following Warsh and Weber) until all dissent is eliminated. More if we get it, but it really doesn't matter. The greatest unsupervised ponzi wealth transfer has just been greenlighted.

Barofsky's resignation letter.

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

I am writing to notify you of my intent to resign, on March 30, 2011, as the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“SIGTARP”) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA”), the same Act that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”). In November 2008, I was nominated by President Bush, with the assent of your transition team, and I was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on December 8, 2008. When I took office on December 15, 2008, SIGTARP consisted of just myself and a single employee working out of a small office in the basement of the Main Treasury building; since then, SIGTARP has grown into a flourishing independent office employing more than 140 highly skilled auditors, investigators, attorneys, and other professionals with its own dedicated office space in downtown Washington, D.C., and field offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

When it began, I had three goals for SIGTARP: to build a robust law enforcement agency to bring to justice those who sought to profit criminally from TARP and to deter those considering such misconduct; to ensure transparency in the operation of TARP so that taxpayers could better understand how the Government was utilizing the unprecedented investment of taxpayer funds that TARP represented; and to provide effective oversight over the Government’s decision-making process to minimize instances of waste, fraud and abuse. I believe that SIGTARP has met each of these goals.

As the sole TARP oversight body with law enforcement authority, SIGTARP has developed an Investigations Division with perhaps the finest collection of white-collar criminal investigators ever assembled. The results have been rapid and tangible, with SIGTARP’s investigations already leading to the criminal conviction of 14 individuals for fraud, more than $550 million in fraud losses avoided, and more than $150 million recovered, ensuring that SIGTARP will more than pay for itself for its entire existence. SIGTARP is also the lead law enforcement agency in the criminal investigation and prosecution of Lee Farkas, the former Chairman of Taylor Bean & Whitaker, whose multi-billion dollar fraud indictment arguably represents the most significant criminal prosecution to date arising out of the financial crisis. Going forward, with more than 140 ongoing investigations across the country, SIGTARP’s Investigations Division is poised to broaden its impact even further and to bring scores of additional defendants to justice for their attempts to take criminal advantage of the Nation’s financial crisis.

SIGTARP has promoted transparency through 13 published audits and nine quarterly reports to Congress. SIGTARP’s audit reports have delivered to the American people and their representatives in Congress detailed accounts of the extraordinary steps taken by their Government to respond to the financial crisis, the rationale behind those decisions, and the important lessons to be learned from them. Through SIGTARP’s quarterly reports to Congress, SIGTARP has helped quench the American taxpayers’ thirst for information on the expenditure of their tax dollars through TARP. To date, SIGTARP’s website has been visited more than 49 million times as taxpayers have accessed reports that have documented TARP’s successes and failures in easy-to-understand terms while putting TARP into perspective as only a part of the multi-trillion dollar Government effort to stabilize the financial system. These reports have also brought attention to the long-term, nonfinancial costs of TARP, including harm to the Government’s credibility and the very real dangers that plague our financial system with the continued existence of large financial institutions still deemed “too big to fail.”

Thanks in no small part to the dedication of the talented professionals at SIGTARP, TARP stands in a far better and more transparent place today than anyone could have reasonably hoped in December 2008. The anticipated financial costs, while still significant, have fallen dramatically from early projections. One reason for this is that SIGTARP has regularly made, and Treasury has often adopted, recommendations concerning TARP program design that protected TARP against fraud vulnerabilities. As a result, it appears that TARP will experience losses from fraud at a substantially lesser rate than what is typically expected for comparable Government programs. Furthermore, with credible plans to liquidate the Government’s remaining ownership interests in those TARP recipients that are still the beneficiaries of extraordinary Government assistance, the program is well on its way to resolving its most significant and controversial loans and investments.

All told, I am very pleased to report that SIGTARP has had a truly remarkable positive impact for an office of such a small size and recent creation. With my initial goals met and with these particular accomplishments in mind, and after more than 10 years in continuous Government service, I believe that it is the right time for me to step down and pursue other opportunities.

This is not to say, of course, that SIGTARP’s work is complete. Important parts of TARP continue to struggle: more than 150 TARP recipient banks have missed their regular dividend payments, and the Home Affordable Modification Program has so far fallen far short of EESA’s mandate that TARP be used to “preserve homeownership.” Indeed, with more than $150 billion in TARP funds outstanding and close to $60 billion still available to be spent, robust and effective oversight of TARP remains vitally important. There is no question that SIGTARP will continue to lead that effort, through its continued quarterly reports to Congress, its audits, and its ongoing criminal investigations. Indeed, given the important work ahead, I would not be comfortable offering my resignation if not for the great confidence that I have in the leadership team at SIGTARP. That team, lead by the Deputy Special Inspector General, Christy Romero, is fully prepared to continue advancing SIGTARP’s mission.

It has truly been an honor to serve, particularly during such a critical time, and I will always be thankful to you for allowing me the opportunity to do so.


Neil M. Barofsky
Special Inspector General

cc: Chairmen and Ranking Member of Committees of Jurisdiction
Secretary Timothy F. Geithner

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naiverealist's picture

I always thought that Neil was an intelligent, motivated person asking the right questions.  Now, he is gone and what Goldman alum will take his place?  Has he told anyone why he is leaving?

hedgeless_horseman's picture

...what Goldman alum will take his place?

More likely an NYU intern.

ZackAttack's picture

I heard that he's leaving in order to spend more time with our money.

the rookie cynic's picture

Yes. Someone with a BA in Newspeak and a PhD in Doublethink. Double plus good.

Zero Govt's picture

Is that a letter of resignation or the most sickening self-inspection of his own naval coming up roses on his own brilliance? ...the public sector is rammed with these arrogant deluded useless parasites ...i've never heard such crap, pass the sickbags 

DarkAgeAhead's picture

Man, NYU should have stayed in the noodle business.  One of the worst quality schools I've ever interacted with.

irishlink's picture

my ! what a day for fast and furious news reports. you would think all this chaos would unerve the markets . Instead  it looks like another boring day with low vol. Happy Valentines

SwingForce's picture

Give him Eric Holder's job.

AN0NYM0US's picture

with apologies this link to Business Insider circa 2009 when Carney was still there


Barofsky Discovers The Bailout Was Based On A Big, Fat Lie

EscapeKey's picture

It would appear he's been pissing in a lot of pools:

TARP Watchdog Neil Barofsky: Government Bailout Has Increased Risk Of Economic Crisis
"Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car," Barofsky wrote."

US banks face insider trading probe
Neil Barofsky, the special inspector-general overseeing the US government’s financial rescue efforts, is to probe allegations of insider trading among bank executives and their associates.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

I guess he did not learn a thing from Brooksley Born (  I honestly do not know if I can become any more creeped out.

gwar5's picture

Creepy is the only word I could think of, too, 2 years ago when I found out how it went down in 1998.

There's an NPR 90 min. video online of the whole episode re Brooksley Born called "The Warning"

Greenspan reportedly told Brooksley Born to ignore the fraud. They drummed her out using congress and just 8 weeks later the LTCM $1 Trillion collapse occurred. Quickly papered over of course.  

They literallly gave her a medal last year -- But no change at the Fed or CFTC.


Bananamerican's picture

"They literallly gave her a medal last year"

did she accept it?

Northeaster's picture

In regards to the FT SEC article:


I wrote, in part:

"As a person NOT in the financial industry, but follows it for personal reasons, it's official, you and your organization are either completely corrupt, or, completely incompetent"


SEC reply:


Thank you for providing your comments to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) processes many comments received from individual investors and others.  We keep records of the correspondence we receive in a searchable database that SEC staff may make use of in inspections, examinations, and investigations.  In addition, some correspondence received by OIEA is referred directly to other SEC offices and divisions for their review.  If they have any questions or wish to respond directly to your comments, they will contact you.

Thank you for communicating your views.


April Keyes
Lead Investor Assistance Specialist
Office of Investor Education and Advocacy   
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(800) 732-0330

Mr. Poon's picture

It's the SEC's polite way of saying, "Thank you for filling our investor tip inbox with worthless political drivel; it will now take us that much longer to get to real investor complaints."

Antipodeus's picture

It actually sounds more like the SEC saying:

"Thank you for your call.  Your call is important to us - no, REALLY.  Now, F@CK OFF.

P.S.: By the way, we are now watching YOU."


MarketTruth's picture

Naaa, the SEC was just upset they wasted 5 minites reading/replying to his comment instead of being able to enjoy prime porn time online.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Everyone loves to be told what they want to hear. Why would the arch criminal class be any different? Yes men are in big demand.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

From this weekends NPR "Wait wait, don't tell me" show:

NPR (to Pete Caroll): What do you do when you work for one of the world's most rich and powerful men?

Pete Caroll: What ever they tell me to do.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Big Boss: "What's that dripping down your chin? Oh, wait a minute. We both know what that is....right?"

Bearster's picture

Would it be any better to have the biggest supervised ponzi wealth transfer scheme?

Ancona's picture

It feels like rats deserting a sinking ship.

Does anyone have information that details just how many people have abandoned the Nobama since he took office?

It sure feels like a lot.

MrBoompi's picture

Does anyone have information that details just how many people have abandoned the Nobama since he took office?


Most of us have abandoned his economic agenda a long time ago, but which Republican't out there can beat him? Ron Paul has some common sense, but doesn't stand a chance. The way I see it, Obama's doing a good job for the elites. They'll put up someone like Romney again, or maybe even Palin, who will have no problem spending all that anonymous money in a losing cause.

alien-IQ's picture

This should secure yet another green close.


SheepDog-One's picture

He never really was a thorn in the side of anyone, I appreciate Neil saying the real cost is $26 trillion or whatever but it made no difference with the machines cntrl alt del function. May as well put the 3 Stooges in charge of oversight.

skunzie's picture

Ouch!!!  You offended the 3 Stooges.!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Interesting article in the January Wired Mag about Artificial Intelligence and HFT/Wall Street.

dick cheneys ghost's picture

wisconsin gov. briefs National guard about possible unrest.........its coming....

plocequ1's picture

Is this why NFLX is up 13? Zenmaster ( Bater ) is confused. Please share some wisdom with the  falconer

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

In the fiat ponzi casino, the slaves are given Netflix as their deserts.

EscapeKey's picture

Do you really have to ask? NFLX is up because of the improving economy.

velobabe's picture

never trusted him from the start.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The greatest unsupervised ponzi wealth transfer has just been greenlighted.

You refer to the budget?

And it is a shame that he is stepping down.  With Barofsky we have lost a big dog in the fight.

SheepDog-One's picture

I never saw any fight anyway, its been just 2 years of solid punch-fest ropeadope monetization and manipulation. Where was there even a bump in the road?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Barofsky asked for with held documents and was never given said documents. I understand his frustration.  How can someone audit when the usuratory US Treasurie and fiat Private Reserve have no transparency??

In Fed We Trust's picture

The bigger crimes and scandals are yet out in the future.

Now with Neil out of the picture, its time for the cartel to resume crashing the dollar.

The cartel will be all out of dollars and into other curriencies along with gold and oil right before the dollar crashes. 

The IMF announced a few days ago that they want a new reserve currency or specifical a "SDR".  AT the very least they want oil and gold priced in SDR's.

What does that tell you? It tells, the 2 commodity markets manipulated of all times is gold and oil. So it will continue to the end. No need to interprut the insider trader ring.

It tells me that "they" know the dollar will be worthless, so they want oil and gold priced in this new thing called an"SDR." Maybe they acculmating alot of gold and oil?  They are saying if you dont let us issue a new currency, they will just contorl this 2 vital commodities.

So the dollar crashes, along with the bond market. The bankers have cashed out and left the country.  Obama gets blamed for the mess.

I have a feeling the stock market will stay resilent through it all , after all it is now The United Corporations of Amercia, which this country is really about.

JW n FL's picture

no they didnt... source it and site it... it better not be Palin 2012 either you fucking idiot.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Me thinks many people are finding out the overt and implied meanings of the word culpability.

Serious culpability can result in somethign unpleasant that can effect your gulpability.



tradewithdave's picture

"The methodology for calculating losses had not really changed although its assumptions had."

I guess the assumption Treasury was referring to was that of Mr. Barofsky assuming his integrity would be a welcome character trait within the government.  Wrong.  When you assume, you know what that makes out of "u and me."

Dave Harrison

Mr. Poon's picture

With all due respect, Barofsky's stay was typical for high-profile political positions in Washington.  I may be a bit cynical, but I would be more inclined to take note if somebody stayed in a position like his for longer than two years.  In Washington, a "short" tenure is measured in months (see:  Kashkari, Neal), a "long" tenure is more than a year.

tradewithdave's picture

See something...

Say something...

reSign something...


MrBoompi's picture

So we really "got tough", cracked down and collected $150 Million in fines (successfully funding the SIGTARP program) while letting TRILLIONS slip out the back door unaccounted for.

This is a LOSE/LOSE proposition IMO.

gwar5's picture

Barofsky was one of the good ones. This is not a good development.

He reamed the administration on the unnecessary closings of the autodealerships and has been critical of TARP.

I hope he didn't have to sign a gag order and sings like a bird.

Cursive's picture


Don't know if he's the type, but a tell-all book wold be "off the hook."