Ex-TARP Watchdog 'Extremely Disappointed' SOTU Ignored Wall Street; Bankers Delighted


Ex-TARP Watchdog ‘Extremely Disappointed’ SOTU Ignored Wall Street; Bankers Delighted

Ex-TARP Watchdog ‘Extremely Disappointed’ SOTU Ignored Wall Street; Bankers Delighted


President Barack Obama’s failure to mention financial reform during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address is a disappointing setback that shows the White House has lost interest in the topic, advocates working to curb fraud on Wall Street told The Huffington Post.

“I was extremely disappointed by this sort of notion [that] we can just turn the page on the financial crisis,” said Neil Barofsky, a former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program who has been active in advocating for financial reform since leaving government service.

During Tuesday’s speech, the president made one direct reference to the financial crisis, saying during the first few minutes of his address, “Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.”


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One Response to “Ex-TARP Watchdog ‘Extremely Disappointed’ SOTU Ignored Wall Street; Bankers Delighted”

  1. It appears like the President told the Speaker of the house, I have won, I am re elected now he does not have to worry about who cares or who is who or what makes anyone else happy. He will be the president for the next four years and the homeowners and financial crisis can take a hike! He does not have to impress anyone! from another article on this post![NO WONDER DAMON IS ALWAYS SMILING LIKE HE KNOWS HE IS UNTOUCHABLE!]

    [Schneiderman’s “task force” (a generous appellation) was merely a politically motivated shell organization grafted onto that public relations strategy. This was evident almost from the moment of the announcement, but the coalition of self-proclaimed bank accountability advocates, who had backed the administration into a corner over the lack of prosecutions, decided to align with Schneiderman and his kabuki task force, losing whatever leverage they may have had. If those same groups who feel “betrayed” and “lied to” had stayed on the outside and shamed those in power into action, we would probably have more accountability today.

    Within a few months of the State of the Union announcement, a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee confirmed the essentially invisible nature of the task force. Maxine Waters, then a senior member of the committee and now the Democratic ranking member, asked Robert Khuzami, then the head of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission, whether the entity had sufficient resources to investigate. Khuzami replied that the agencies involved – the SEC, the New York AG’s office and the Department of Justice – were supplying the resources. No new dollars were dedicated to the effort. When Waters asked when the task force would hire an executive director, Khuzami said they hired a “coordinator” to facilitate inter-agency activity. Specifically, he uttered this incriminating evidence: “We hired a coordinator, but most of the investigative work being done here is not really being done by a staff that belongs to the task force, it’s being done by the individual investigative groups that make up the task force.”

    This is the key point. There are no offices, no phones and no staff dedicated to the non-task force. Two of the five co-chairs have left government. What “investigators” there are from the task force are nothing more than liaisons to the independent agencies doing their own independent investigations. In the rare event that these agencies file an actual lawsuit or enforcement action, the un-task force merely puts out a statement taking credit for it. Take a look at this in action at the website for the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, the federal umbrella group “investigating” financial fraud. It’s little more than a press release factory, and no indictment, conviction or settlement is too small. The site takes credit for cracking down on Ponzi schemes, insider trading, tax evasion, racketeering, violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (!) and a host of other crimes that have precisely nothing to do with the financial crisis. To call this a publicity stunt is an insult to publicity stunts.]


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