Q&A With Neil Barofsky

[A]nd, as we started discussing it, he gave me a warning. He said that I was doing myself real harm for my ”future prospects,” in his words. And by that, he explained that I had a very harsh tone. I was very critical of Wall Street and very critical of the Obama Administration as I was carrying out my job as SIGTARP and providing oversight. And he warned me that if I didn’t change my tone, it was going to hurt my ability to get a job after SIGTARP when I left the government, presumably to go get a job on Wall Street, that I was doing myself real harm. When I explained to him I wasn’t really interested in that, he then said, ”Well, even within the administration.” But then if I changed my tone, became a little bit more upbeat and positive, good things could happen to me. He mentioned even perhaps an Obama appointment as a -- as a federal judge, if only I would change my tone.
I was once told by an IG pointblank that he wished he could do what I was doing, but he was afraid for his job, that he had kids in college and he had -- he couldn’t afford to lose his job. And that’s one of the problems. They live in fear of being fired if they’re too aggressive in carrying out their duties.
Geithner was much more dismissive. I didn’t really meet with him all that often. Maybe a couple of meetings at times is very combative, at times very aggressive, at times profane.
They kept their jobs. They kept their bonuses. They kept their rich compensation they received prior to their bailouts. They kept -- those bonuses were soon restored for those executives.