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Team Tim v. Team Neal on the Financial Crisis

posted by Adam Levitin

Matthew Yglesias has a fantastic piece about the Barofsky-Geithner proxy debate on the financial crisis.  Read it here.

The only thing I would add is to note how this same debate continued through the mortgage servicing scandal and the debate over the CFPB. 

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According to Yglesias, the gist of the Barofsky-Geithner debate concerns "the relatve importance of household balance sheets versus the credit channel laying the precondition for growth"

That may be where debate is heading, but it's not the take away I got from Mr Barofsky's book. Caveat - I am the master of my own vivid imagination.

The book's jacket, a photo by Larry Downing, sets the stage: The Cupola, working with Teams Paulson/Geithner to protect and preserve their Cosa Nostra. Inside - chock full of the price to be paid (filched out of your pocket and mine) by what seem to me - nothing grander than tethered capuchins dressed as grossly overpaid bureaucrats.

The gist of the book has little to do with the present policy debate. Rather it justifies and explains why the American people - until recently one of the least cynical on earth - would lose faith in their government and come to believe that leaders have squandered their trust.

In short, it challenges us to rid ourselves of the festering malignancy that millions of Americans sense when they look at Mr Downing's photograph. That purge must include excision of all that enabes symbiotic parasites masquerading as public servants to thrive. We can start by breaking the revolving door.

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