The man behind TARP

Washington Post ran this story over the weekend on the man who managed the historic $700bn Troubled Asset Relief Program.  An excerpt:

It was October 2008 when Hank Paulson announced that the government rescue operation, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), would be run by his aide, Neel Kashkari. The choice was met with considerable surprise. Who was Neel Kashkari? He was too young, too inexperienced and had ties to Wall Street, detractors said. To some, the appointment seemed all wrong. Critics described Paulson as a “Dr. Evil” figure who brainwashed Congress into giving him unprecedented financial authority so that Kashkari, his “Mini-Me,” could distribute it to Wall Street friends.

Overnight, Kashkari became the face of the biggest, and one of the most controversial, market interventions in American history. Even he questioned their chances of success.

The Friday evening he was named, he slumped over a bowl of chips in Bethesda with a childhood friend. He held his head in hands and said: “Dude, tell me something funny.”

“Man, what’s going on, Neel?”

“I’ve been tapped to put TARP together. I gotta set up these seven teams and build this thing from scratch — by Monday morning.”

 It wasn’t a stellar story but I think I’d always be interested in stories of and about people who were part of the whole financial debacle.

Link to the whole WaPo story here.

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