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Ex-TARP Watchdog Neil Barofsky: CNBC Just 'Krugmanned' Me

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Neil Barofsky said he
Neil Barofsky said he "definitely got Krugmanned" on CNBC on Wednesday.

Neil Barofsky, the former bailout watchdog, isn't going to just take being talked over and cut off on television.

"Definitely got Krugmanned," Barofsky wrote on Twitter after a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview on Wednesday morning. The reference alludes to the New York Times columnist's "Squawk Box" appearance last month, when CNBC host Joe Kernen compared Krugman to "a unicorn."

"Unprofessional for not letting me answer questions, but not unfair. I knew what was coming," Barofsky wrote on Twitter. "I did not think CNBC was 'unfair,'" Barofsky added. "That would be like going to a WWE match and complaining that the matches are fixed. It's what they do."

The CNBC hosts talked over Barofsky as he answered their questions. They questioned how the government could have betrayed ordinary Americans when the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) saved Wall Street from collapse.

"Let me finish my question. How was it abandoning Main Street, which is the subtitle of your book, if TARP helped to avert financial collapse?" asked Steve Liesman, CNBC's senior economics correspondent.

"TARP was supposed to do more than just avert a financial collapse. It was supposed to help bring the economy [back]," the former special inspector general for TARP said. "Look at the stagnant level of the economy, the fact that this money was supposed to go back into the economy through loans." Barofsky argued the bank bailout terms should have included incentives to lend money.

Barofsky has not pulled punches since the release of his new book Bailout, which argues that the government concerned itself too much with shoring up the banks at the expense of the American public.

Liesman wrote the following on Twitter after the interview:


steve liesman
Barofsky contradicts himself in Cnbc intvw: says TARP helped avert fin collapse but that didn't benefit Main Street. Huh?

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