Saturday, March 30, 2013

Book Review: "Bailout" by Barofsky

Barofsky has a unique perspective on what unfolded in the series of bailouts following the 2008 economic meltdown. He had the responsibility for overseeing the disbursement of an unprecedented amount of money at a phenomenal velocity. In this extraordinarily readable memoir, Barofsky explains some of the roots of the financial collapse and doesn't hesitate to call out powerful interests for their part in destabilizing the financial system.

Given the urgency of the situation and the speed of the response, it would have been impossible for anyone to prevent fraud. And fraud did occur, as Barofsky points out in this book. But with all the handicaps Barofsky's team faced, they did a remarkable job keeping the bailout as clean as they did.

Barofsky also points out the importance of reform in our financial institutions, how little has been done, and the role that money played in influencing the lack of response. His criticism is on point when pointing out the weaknesses in our financial infrastructure. And since the "too big to fail" companies have continued to grow larger while engaging in the same risky behavior as before, we will be condemned to repeat our recent history again.