Senate Confirms N.Y. Fed Prosecutor to Oversee $700 Billion Bailout

Someone has got to watch over this bailout. Hopefully Neil Barofsky is up to the challenge. If not,  the politicians will have someone to blame.

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON (Tuesday) — The Senate yesterday confirmed a New York prosecutor as the chief watchdog of the $700 billion financial bailout program, giving him monitoring responsibility over a plan that has come under increasing criticism for lack of oversight.
Neil M. Barofsky becomes the special inspector general for the program after nearly half of the money has been allocated and as lawmakers continue to decry the Bush administration’s implementation of the plan. The Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, said last week that plans are inadequate to enforce executive compensation limits and safeguards against conflict of interest.
“Obviously this will be an extraordinary challenge,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. “Mr. Barofsky will have to play catch-up and work ferociously in order to account for the $310 billion that has already been spent, while properly supervising the rest of the relief, but I believe that he is up to the task.”
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