April 01, 2020

Jenner & Block Partner Neil M. Barofsky is quoted in a New York Times article titled “How Powell and Mnuchin Became the Duo in Charge of Saving the Economy.”  The article explores the partnership between Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, and Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary – a relationship that takes on special significance as the nation struggles with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.  The article notes that President Trump will appoint an inspector general to oversee the $2 trillion bailout approved last week, but the president indicated that he has the power to decide what information that official could share with Congress.  Mr. Barofsky, who held a similar role as the special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program more than a decade ago, said the suggestion that the new official could be gagged might have a chilling effect.  “It’s concerning,” Mr. Barofsky said, noting that he successfully employed the threat of notifying Congress in that role. “It might embolden other agencies to simply refuse requests for information.”