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early and awesome

SIGTARP’s Neil Barofsky Is Way More Badass Than We Realized

We hadn't given much thought to Neil Barosky, the special inspector general overseeing the bailout program, who will be on the congressional panel grilling Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, and old pal Hank Paulson on the bailout of AIG tomorrow. We knew he once made an executive cry on the stand, and he has been critical of the actions taken by banks and the administration in his quarterly reports. But with his well-written reports and buttoned-up demeanor and ties, we'd pegged him as just another Washington milquetoast.

In fact, he is a total badass, the Times informs us today:


There are, in fact, several other panels charged with reviewing and monitoring the bailout. But Mr. Barofsky is the only one backed by federal agents who carry guns and badges and, if necessary, can break the locks off file cabinets.

Those added powers, and an attitude honed during eight years of fighting white-collar criminals and Colombian drug lords as an assistant United States attorney — he still has the knife from a foiled attempt on his life in a field outside Bogotá — are propelling Mr. Barofsky over barriers that have slowed the others.

Awesome. If Geithner doesn't crack immediately, at least there will be someone there who has no qualms about busting out the bamboo sticks and getting answers the hard way.

An Investigator Presses to Uncover Bailout Abuse [AIG]

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Photo: Getty Images