TARP—the infamous Troubled Assets Relief Program that bailed out Wall Street in 2008—is over. The Treasury Department announced it will be completing the sale of the remaining shares it owns of the banks and of General Motors. But in reality it’s not over.
In late 2008, Neil Barofsky was appointed the Treasury Department’s investigator of the bank bailouts. In the time since, he has suffered dismissal and deprecation from his colleagues and the corporations they’re supposed to regulate.
The financial meltdown and subsequent bailout have dampened Americans’ faith in government and stirred widespread outrage. Neil Barofsky, who once served as special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, says that anger may point the way toward reform.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program, otherwise known as TARP, was scheduled to expire at the end of this year, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday that it’ll stick around until October 2010, partly as a precautionary measure in case of economic emergency and partly to help struggling homeowners, banks and small businesses.