Tags: tarp | turf | war

TARP Inspector Declares Victory in Turf War

By Dan Wei   |   Tuesday, 08 Sep 2009 10:37 AM

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Sigtarp), doesn’t have to answer to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner after all.

The Treasury Department has backed down from trying to take away Barofsky’s independence in examining how the bank bailout money, $700 billion of it, is being spent, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The administration wasn’t so happy about Barofsky’s strong stance in dealing with government officials and Wall Street. The former federal prosecutor provides the details of his findings directly to Congress.

In a letter Wednesday to Congress, Barofsky said the Treasury had given up its request for the Justice Department to grant a legal opinion as to how much independence Barofsky should have.

Answering to the Treasury would be "a threat to our independence," Barofsky wrote in the letter.

"We view such withdrawal as Treasury's acknowledgment that Sigtarp is an independent entity within Treasury, and that my office and I are not subject to the supervision of the secretary. We applaud Treasury's decision to bring to a close this needless distraction."

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. have fought hard for Barofsky to maintain his independence.

It appears that Barofsky is doing his job well. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that The Treasury has earned about $4 billion off the investments it made in failing banks

And the Financial Times reported that the Federal Reserve has made $14 billion of profits on its loans during the financial crisis.

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Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Sigtarp), doesn’t have to answer to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner after all.The Treasury Department has backed down from trying to take away Barofsky’s independence in examining how the bank...
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