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Tough Fed Prosecutor Nominated to Oversee $700 Billion Bailout

With the endless stories of corporate parties and huge bonuses on Wall Street, it’s no wonder the American people are skeptical about the $700 billion bailout. Will Neil Barofsky be enough to pacify the skeptics?

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Neil M. Barofsky, who was nominated yesterday to be the chief watchdog of the $700 billion bailout program, has spent his career as a federal prosecutor going after everyone from perpetrators of esoteric multibillion-dollar accounting frauds to South American drug lords with names such as “El Gordo” and “Matador.”
“He has stared down international drug traffickers,” said Roberto Finzi, a close friend and former colleague, “so he ought to be able to stare down investment bankers.”
The nomination comes amid growing concern over lack of oversight of the unprecedented bailout program, which is supposed to be scrutinized by two new independent bodies: a special inspector general and a congressional oversight panel.
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