Sigtarp: “Americans Should Lose Faith In Their Government ... Only With This Appropriate and Justified Rage Can We Hope

George Washington's picture

The Special Inspector General for Tarp Issues a Wakeup Call … Lambasts the Government and the Banks

The government’s special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (the “TARP” bank bailouts) – Neil M. Barofsky – wrote a stunning editorial for Bloomberg yesterday, concluding:

Americans should lose faith in their government. They should deplore the captured politicians and regulators who distributed tax dollars to the banks without insisting that they be accountable. The American people should be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and protects those who drove it to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly do so again.


Only with this appropriate and justified rage can we hope for the type of reform that will one day break our system free from the corrupting grasp of the megabanks.

See this for background.

This is not the statement of a raving blogger (although some of the best reporters write blogs) or a conspiracy theorist living in his mom’s basement (even though some conspiracies are real).

This is the former government official who oversaw the bailouts.


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shovelhead's picture

Civil suits against the banks. Lots of them. Inundate the bastards with paper and discovery.

Make them put their crimes in writing and defend the indefensible.

It will be fun while waiting for them to implode from horseshit derivatives exposure.

Funny money disappearing in columns of smoke.

The big boys get hammered but the small local banks will be fine because they need your business to exist at all.

Big changes coming up soon. Be ready. Let your Congress critter know you will be holding them accountable for their place at the trough. It's about the only power we have left but if you don't exercise it they'll do what is the least costly to their career. That won't be caring about you, the constituent.

They don't get there unless you put them there. They don't stay there unless you say so.

Then again, we can do nothing and endlessly complain later like a bunch of suckers and make useless mouth noises about ropes and what all.


Meesohaawnee's picture

"should " loose.?? come on. if you have been living  in a cave you should have lost confidence at least a decade ago if not longer. the concept  of "democracy" is the biggest joke known. If the MSM had its way there would be an election every year and never stop. its just comical every day how they push it on you like its relevant.

JamesBond's picture

Lead used to show less radiation Probe targets ploy to shield dosimeters Jiji, Kyodo

KORIYAMA, Fukushima Pref. — The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Tuesday it is investigating whether dosimeters worn by workers trying to contain the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were manipulated to underreport their radiation exposure and may pursue prosecution.

The ministry meanwhile told Tokyo Electric Power Co. to have all workers, including subcontractors, whose dosimeter readings were suspiciously low to come in for checks to determine their actual radiation exposure.


GW's next nuclear rant coming in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, ......



Quinvarius's picture

Americans will have to see empty grocery shelves for a couple months before they start examining the problem.  And empty grocery store shelves are an unavoidable outcome of price fixing and intervention in the economy.

Shizzmoney's picture

Sheldon Wolin writes about this in "Democracy Incorporated" into what I would call, what he calls inverted totalitarianism, whereby it's not classical totalitarianism, it doesn't find its expression through a demagogue or a charismatic leader, but through the anonymity of the corporate state that purports to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution, the iconography and language of American patriotism, and yet internally have seized all of the levers of power. This is what it means when lobbyists write all of our legislation, or when they stack the Supreme Court with people who serve the interests of corporations.

And it's to render the citizen impotent.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Re ... former government official  (Neil Barofsky) who OVERSAW THE BAILOUTS .. lambasts  Govt and Banks...

I, for one, am getting SICK & TIRED of these Govt Officials who were INSTRUMENTAL, even as apparatchicks, in handing over  our collective future  to the BANKSTERS (to the tune of $20 TRILLION or so, and counting) all of a sudden Getting Religion  and bemoaning the results of the very poicies they administered and implemented... for whcih, have no doubt, they were handsomely "rewarded".

Too late Barofsky - save your crocodile tears. Getting all  touchy-feely now is much too little, much too late.

Widowmaker's picture

"We saved the banks but lost America"  Timothy F Geithner

Saving the banks and screwing the regular guy was deliberate and purposful, institutionalized moral hazzard with Uncle Sam leading the oppression.

Tell everyone you know, the fraud-dollar is dying.  "No one saw anything coming."


moneymutt's picture

The US survived many bank induced crashes in the 1800s, we survived the civil war, and even though they're is still animosity and descendants of the former slaves suffered a hundred more years of tyranny, terror and apartheid-like discrimination, we survived. Via movements and using the government to protect people, women, black folk were able to secure more equal treatment and the vote, even when government had previously protected unequal treatment. We survived the rise of Trusts, Monopolies, using our government as a tool to break them, keep markets competitive. We survived the great depression, using our govt to clean up markets, make them more transparent and less prone to fraud, and providing a social safety net. After the great deporession we experienced a long period of not just amazing GDP growth, but a period when average working class people who had been horribly poor shared enormously in the GDP, wher one man with a HS education could easily find a job and support a family in a nice middle class lifestyle, expecting even a nice pension when he retired.

We still have horrible problems, just a partial list:
- the middle class is diminishing and being gutted by cost of housing, education, health care and by declining wages, nagging unemployment
- Poverty is back on the rise.
- Few will have secure retirements.
- Corruption of our government is at all new heights, as evidenced by unaudited money flowing to still expanding big banks, big defense contractors, big private prisons.
- Presidents can declare war at will with little, to no, democractic controls, with only one recent military action ever being banned specifically by Congress - the counterinsirgenncy in Nicaragua - and even that was subverted by executive branch..
- The bias of law enforcement, coming down heavily on regular people in oppressive searches and for petty crimes or even completely legal actions like assembly and free speech while elites, mainly bankers, are all allowed to commit massive fraud and theft unpunished, under to the Too Big to Prosecute motto.
- Horrible racial bias of our police making many black and Latino neighborhoods, schools seem more like prisons and police states than free communities. While black and Latinos are proven in study after study to do drugs no more, and often less than whites, they are hounded, arrested, charged, sentenced for drug crimes at rates embarrassingly far greater than whites. In NYC, while truly conscious evil people plot the next devious way to steal grandma's savings, to skim money off of any financial transaction, to avoid ever paying a dime of taxes, who go uninvestigated, unpunished on Wall Street, a few miles away, regular black folks walking down street get stopped and frisked with no probable cause needed.
- we have horribly high Debt to GDP to debt ratio, run up mostly becuase of unwillingness to pay as we went for our priorities and putting bloated corruption ridden programs on the credit card. These include a massively expensive pills for seniors program that was totally corrupt because ut allowed Pharma to charge US two to twenty times for price of drugs compared to what they sold for in global market place. Defencse and wars were out on credit card, even while taxes were cut, especially for rich. And the current solution proposed to adrees this mess is not o return to tax regime we had when erased our deficit, not cut bloated corrupt defense spending but rather to gut the programs that regular people actually paid for in advance, including transportation trust fund paid by gas taxes, Social Security, paid for by FICA taxes, for decades taking in far more in taxes than being spent to pileup nest egg inevitably needed when boomers paying these taxes would retire, a trust find that is currently solvent til 2036. These programs, paid for by regular wage earning people, for programs for regular people are to be gutted, while tax rates for rich are to be ever decreasing, and big businesses forever supported with big wasteful, corrupt federal spending.
- Wall Street corruption and the very unpublic, undemocractucally controlled FED.....

We have faced as worse, and we still have improved our lot. We have never achieved completely equal protection under the law and true democracy for all,, we have never completely wiped out our govt debt, we have never ended fraud and corruption, but we have made it through to periods of prosperity and increasing democracy, waning corruption.

We can make it through this. We can't deny how bad it is. It is likely even worse than many of us realize. But we also have more power and ability to improve things than many of us realize. Being aware how bad it is, is a first step, acting on this in strategic and organized/united fashion is second step. In spite of horrible corruption, in spite of police and military might, people can and do prevail.

Think cynically, act hopefully.

Vooter's picture

Why should the U.S. survive? The world will go on without the United States of America, just like it's gone on without various empires throughout history...

northerngirl's picture

We get the government we deserve. 

honestann's picture

Speak for yourself.

Let me go on record as stating:

I do not deserve the predators DBA government.

Escapeclaws's picture

Great article from most recent Economonitor by Randel Wray--Why we are screwed. I notice that there are more and more of these articles basically saying there is no hope and all is lost. I tend to agree.

One of the comments on this article said,"For you youngsters out there, I've worked on Wall Street the last 45 years and I've seen it all. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE!"

JR's picture

In the words of Wray…

“In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that ‘thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.’

“After 1990 we removed what was left of financial regulations following the flurry of deregulation of the early 1980s that had freed the thrifts so that they could self-destruct. And we are shocked, SHOCKED! that thieves took over the financial system.

“Nay, they took over the whole economy and the political system lock, stock, and barrel. They didn’t just blow up finance, they oversaw the swiftest transfer of wealth to the very top the world has ever seen. They screwed workers out of their jobs, they screwed homeowners out of their houses, they screwed retirees out of their pensions, and they screwed municipalities out of their revenues and assets.”  – L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, NY., WHY WE’RE SCREWED

Thanks! for the website.

putaipan's picture

i guess i just like the company  on georges' threads. you go bart mania. my peeps  tinky and peter pan. hey centurion nice triple post-but barofsky was good goin' in. he never had a chance and told them all what he saw all along.

 now to mr. washington himself.....please make the tylers post one of you cafr articles- seems to be making headway. i want to see the reaction of the zh-ers and/or let them know. and my tin foil hat has told me that while it could be our line in the sand- i.e. protect it before that is stolen from us too- that to acknowledge cafr's existence could lead to having to accept the legal definition's of us and the u.s. as corporations .... uh oh, admiralty law out there and upfront with what.... the pope as our ceo?

ebworthen's picture

Lost faith in the U.S. when they passed the bailouts in 2008.

The thievery, lies, and lack of any prosecutions of the evildoers have only cemented my conviction that the nation is lost.

Politics and polite discussion will not restore it; use your imagination to think of what will stop the legerdemain and parasitism.

Loose Caboose's picture

Bailouts 2008.  That period in time stands out for me as the WTF moment where I felt like I must be missing something really important.  I felt like a really good joke was being told and I was waiting for the punchline.  Still waiting.

GMadScientist's picture

I love my country, but in the way you love an exasperating friend that you used to be able to trust but can't anymore. I think the plurality of Americans know right from wrong and would do the former if given the chance, but their voices are drowned out by a set of people we could easily fit in a finite number of railcars or stash away in Alcatraz until they get the cancer they surely deserve.


Loose Caboose's picture

"a set of people we could easily fit in a finite number of railcars or stash away in Alcatraz until they get the cancer they surely deserve."

..... sounds like a plan.


Widowmaker's picture

If you voted for W Bush you cut your own throat.

Me too.

Cheyenne's picture

me too, man. that episode brought the left-right fiction front and center. no one but the .01?? pct wanted those bailouts.

and the campaign to sell the bailouts as a win would nake goebbels blush. i don't know anyone who believes it, despite its fixture on mainstream news.



GMadScientist's picture

I remember Republicans arguing feverishly against limits on CEO compensation, in a decidedly, "hey, over here, boy, over here" kinda way; right-wing radio ate that shit up like it was ambrosia and the sheep all snapped their heads in the (mis)direction intended.


AldousHuxley's picture

lost faith in Americans when bush got elected the second time.

lost faith in America when you read her history

GMadScientist's picture

...when Ray-gun got elected the second time.


Joe A's picture

He will be out of a job soon. Or found hanging on a rope somewhere, an 'apparent' suicide.

LMAOLORI's picture


Even if he is out to sell books I commend him for exposing what he did say for example how worthless Dodd-Frank really is besides the way I see it is if the Squid thinks it's a good idea IT ISN'T.

In Washington, Blankfein Backs Dodd-Frank

janus's picture

everything is progressing as it should -- unto janus.

this is a wise man...and he is consenting.

consent & repent, bitchez!  the time is nigh.

lie beside me, baby; that's an order/

i've seen the future brother, and it is murder.


silverdragon's picture

It aint rocket science reduce govt spending by 10% per year until the budget is balanced.

Vooter's picture

The interest payments ALONE on our national debt are about $500 billion a year...good luck...

john146's picture

Its only called a conspiracy because many people have not figured it all out yet.


What do those who have it figured out and know the truth call it?

Hannibal's picture

They call it "conspiracy" no theory!

fourchan's picture



the system called "the federal reserve."  and "the system" has been working as designed since 1915.



enslaving a nation of free men to debt,

and capturing ownership of all assets through created boom and bust cycles.

Bartanist's picture

I am about as disgusted with the US government corruption and lack of morals as anyone. However, isn't that what THEY want? Don't they want everyone to lose confidence in the government and the people who run the government so that there is conflict that can only be resolved by an outside source? Don't they tell us that globalization and surrendering our free will to the UN will solve all of our problems and destroy the self-serving evil people?

Personally, I am not buying it. People are essentially good when given a chance. We can all look inside ourselves to determine what is right from wrong. However, evil people rationalize to themselves that everyone is like them ... evil.

GeezerGeek's picture

I was with you through the first paragraph. However:

I thoroughly disagree with the assertion that "people are essentiallly good when given a chance." People may act good when others are looking, but how many are going to be good when no one is looking? Moral restrictions have generally deteriorated amongst the general population in the US, as witnessed by any number of pernicious behaviors. People may tend to 'be good' within a chosen community (honor among thieves?), but there is no longer a nationwide sense of community. Neither is there, in most urban or suburban areas, a general sense of community. Consider the flash mob phenomenon.

Our Constitution was written based on the premise that people are corruptible, hence the need to restrict governmental powers. Adams may have said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”, but that was in the context of an overwhelmingly Christian population that believed that, even when other people were not watching, God was. Such a condition no longer applies.


Boxed Merlot's picture

the context of an overwhelmingly Christian population that believed that, even when other people were not watching, God was...


Couldn't agree with you more.  We have persons in extraordinarily potent positions of power that conduct themselves as though there is no power higher than themselves, yet alone be called to account for their behavior. 

There's a fate worse than physical death, but it seems few take time to contemplate the way to avoid it, myself included. 

Totin's picture

As long as the Democrats can point the blame finger at the Republicans (and vice versa) the can will continue to be kicked down the road - until 

Peter Pan's picture

OK, we now have one Barosfsky, one Paul Craig Roberts, one Professor Black.....and maybe a few dozen other decent insiders and ex-insiders.

I am afraid it is going to also take some decent military men to also make a move otherwise any movement towards a decent system of democracy and capitalism is condemned to end up being even more autocratic and tyranical that whatever we have experienced to date.

They can thank food stamps for keeping the masses in check.

As if it wasn't bad enough having banks that are too big too fail, we now also have governments and political parties that are too big to fail. So the result is that decent Americans must sit back and cop what is dished out to them by morally and financially bankrupt leaders and institutions.

Bringin It's picture

Adm. Fallon, David Stockman.

Peter Pan's picture

Agreed but they must unite their cry for America and Americans.

Vic Vinegar's picture

Apparently it's amateur hour over at Bloomberg if they are bothering to print this.  

Mr. Neil tells us it's time to lose faith and deplore things?  LOL  Scarlet Fu ain't got time for this shit.

How about something actionable, Neil?  Buying physical > deploring stuff

JR's picture

These ancient lines from a Punch cartoon describe the modern-day dilemma of the American nation:

Who is in charge of the clattering train?

The axles creak and the couplings strain;

And the pace is hot, and the points are near,

And Sleep has deadened the driver’s ear;

And the signals clash through the night in vain,

For Death is in charge of the clattering train.

grekko's picture

He hears the silence howling --
Catches angels as they fall.
And the all-time winner
Has got him by the balls.
He picks up Gideon's Bible --
Open at page one --
God stole the handle and
The train won't stop going --
No way to slow down.

GMadScientist's picture

Drivin' that train
High on cocaine
Casey Jones you better
watch your speed
Trouble ahead
Trouble behind
and you know that notion
just crossed my mind

1Inthebeginning's picture

Slow motion train wreck.  Wake up conductor.  Crashed by design.  Maybe.

LMAOLORI's picture



Former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich: 2008 Crash Manufactured – Made Insiders Tremendous Amounts of Money

Benjamin Glutton's picture
High Court asked to declare SA’s money lending system fraudulent and unconstitutional.

CAPE TOWN - In what certainly has the hallmarks of a David vs Goliath battle, SA’s four biggest banks and the Reserve Bank have been served with summons to defend themselves against allegations of unconstitutional banking practices.

The papers were served by the sheriff of the court on behalf of the plaintiff, a non-governmental and not for profit organisation, New Economic Rights Alliance (NewERA).

NewERA is asking the High Court to declare SA’s money lending system fraudulent and unconstitutional. The system of loans and credit advancements is an “unfair, self-serving, monopolistic, economic activit[y] that [results in] arbitrary deprivation of property, monetary depreciation and inappropriate conduct,” court papers allege.

According to Scott Colin Cundill, director of NewERA, the action is not financially motivated. “We are not suing for money. We are asking the court to suspend all legal action between the banks and SA citizens, until a full investigation has been undertaken into our banking system.”

FNB, Standard Bank, Absa and Nedbank confirmed receipt of the summons. While Nedbank was still studying the summons, FNB, Absa and Standard Bank confirmed that the matter will be fully defended.

The banks are expected to retain the best legal minds in the country. At the moment Cundill is making use of a legal advisor but will argue the application himself.

At the heart of the issue are three trade practices (in particular) conducted by banks. NewERA intends to show that these are unconstitutional.

The first is the fractional reserve banking system. The conventional view of this system is that only a fraction of bank deposits are backed by actual cash-on-hand and are available for withdrawal. This is done deliberately in order to expand the economy by freeing up capital that can be loaned out to other parties. “Our issue with this is that new loans can be created without having the actual cash to back them,” says Cundill.

The second is the process of seigniorage. This is the profit that the SA Reserve Bank (and governments around the world) earn from the difference in the cost of printing money and the face value of that money. “The way in which these notes enter the banking system and therefore the public, and thus how seigniorage is charged, is a very little known or understood process.”

The last matter that NewERA is taking issue with is securitisation. This is the financial practice of pooling various types of contractual debt such as residential home or car loans, repackaging it and selling this consolidated debt to various investors. It was the practice of selling toxic debt, packaged as collateralised mortgage obligations, which triggered the financial crisis in 2008.

NewERA will also argue that the lack of transparency regarding how banks make use of depositors’ money, prevents individuals from making informed decisions when dealing with agreements that affect their financial well-being.

“What we want is the development of co-operative, sound economic principles to ensure that risk and, or fault does not devolve onto the consumer unnecessarily and unconditionally, causing loss of property, investments and value,” says Cundill.

NewERA has 154 members who are joined in the application.

The application is also supported by more than 115  000 people, Cundill says.

The banks have ten days in which to file their intention to defend.

OneTinSoldier66's picture

I don't necessarily believe that Fractional Reserve Banking is a problem. I see it as a problem with the unit of account that is being used. What we have now is a fiat elastic money that can be conjured out of thin air by bankers(leverage). And it has been so debauched, devalued, clipped and manipulated, that it could now be called debt-based.


But if a commodity based money were being used, such as Gold for example, then you'd be nothing more than a vault if didn't do any FRB.