Senators unhappy with Treasury


You could say Sen. Ron Wyden is unhappy with Treasury’s actions on the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“It’s like Dodge City before the marshals show up,” said Wyden, D-Ore., bemoaning the lack of oversight into Treasury’s spending of $700 billion intended to unfreeze the credit markets.

This analogy was thrown out at today’s Senate Finance Committee hearing regarding the nomination of Neil Barofsky as the special inspector general for TARP. The committee doesn’t have jurisdiction to deliberate on Barofsky’s nomination — that falls to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday — but its members wanted to discuss their concerns with Barofsky in advance.

Should he be confirmed, Barofsky said his top priorities would include oversight and investigating waste, fraud and conflicts of interest. He said he thinks he may need to hire about 100 people to properly staff the office

“We will need to establish an investigative arm, which I can assure this committee will tirelessly investigate and refer for prosecution any individual or entity that tires to criminally profit from the program,” he said.


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