Perhaps that's TARP's "most lasting, and unfortunate, legacy."
Barofsky's new book "Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street" explains.
Writer/Roosevelt Institute fellow Matthew Stoller calls it "a very important" account of the financial crisis aftermath. In April 2010, Barofsky met a key adversary.
Herbert Allison formerly headed Merrill Lynch, TIAA-CREF and Fannie Mae. He came out of retirement to oversee TARP. He became Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Stability.
"Have you thought at all about what you'll be doing next," he asked. "Out there in the market, there are consequences for some of the things you're saying and the way you're saying them."
Barofsky knew he was being threatened "with lifelong unemployment." Going along instead of bucking the system assures revolving door plum positions. "It was gold or the lead," he explained.
Cooperate and get rich. Don't and lose out. At first, he "had no idea that the US government had been captured by" bankers. He was "shocked (at) how much control" they have over policy on their own terms. Treasury goes along deferentially. Republicans or Democrats agree on core issues.
He was hijacked and hamstrung. Too big to fail constitutes near omnipotence. Whatever Wall Street wants it gets. Contesting its power is futile.
Stoller calls "Bailout" an account of "the importance of Congressional oversight in reigning in corruption, and the problems of our imperial Presidency."