Senate considers bailout oversight
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Scott Jagow: Also today, the Senate holds a hearing on the nomination of Neil Barofsky. He would oversee the $700 billion rescue package. He’d have about a hundred people working for him, and have his work cut out. Marketplace’s Steve Henn has more.
Steve Henn: Since the bailout bill was signed into law, the Treasury Department’s invested more than $210 billion in banks and insurance companies. And it’s done all this with almost no oversight.
That’s created many opportunities for mischief, says, Republican Senator Charles Grassley the ranking member of the financial services committee.
Charles Grassley: Most of it is corporate executives too stupid to realize that they’re caretakers of taxpayers’ money.
AIG executives, for example, recently went on a hunting retreat in Europe.
Grassley: And in a sense thumbing their nose at the taxpayers.
Grassley says appointing Neil Barofsky to police the program should remind these executives who they’re working for. Right now, Barofsky’s a prosecutor in New York specializing in securities fraud.
Grassley says the painful experience of Iraqi reconstruction taught Congress that it’s crucial to get an inspector general’s office up and running fast.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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