Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spitzer Gets Nailed

Some thoughts about the Spitzer situation:

First, he brought this upon himself. No one forced him to play with ladies of the night. He made his choice, and now he's paying for it. His career as an elected official is ruined.

Second, this is especially sad because Spitzer one of very few elected officials willing to take on monied interests. We live in a society run by very powerful, very wealthy, very few, very elite that accrue huge amounts of wealth for themselves. See this post that shows the long term trend of an increasingly wealthy elite

The wealthy elite game the system, paying off politicians so that our economy is structured to maximize profits for the few. Spitzer was working to counteract that trend. Now he is powerless to do anything, and there are very few politicians to replace him. Given that the current financial fallout is all because of scam built on scam built on scam, we are worse off with fewer elected officials willing to ferret out financial wrongdoing on Wall St.

Third, remember, this is a leak from a federal investigation. The wiretap happened less than one month ago. There's no way this case was ready to go forward, so someone wanted to see Spitzer crushed. He had lots of enemies, so that list is long. Obviously the "big" story is the prostitute, my guess is that there is an interesting narrative laying beneath the surface about how this investigation came to be. Of course, it's hard to imagine that anyone would use the justice system for political ends...

UPDATE: More on the reaction of the monied interests from the WSJ:

The news stunned traders on Wall Street, where Mr. Spitzer long has been viewed with fear and contempt. Some view the revelations as a huge hypocrisy for a man, who as New York's attorney general, had aggressively pushed for ethics and fair play on Wall Street earlier this decade. People who clashed hardest with Mr. Spitzer are among those crowing the loudest.

"He actually believes he's above the law," said Ken Langone, a former New York Stock Exchange director who now heads a small investment-banking firm. In his role as prosecutor, Mr. Spitzer sued Mr. Langone for his role in doling out the large pay package of former New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso. "I have never had any doubt about his lack of character and integrity -- and he's proven me correct."

His political rivals, too, jumped into the fray.

"This is not a victimless crime," said U.S. Rep. Peter King, Republican of Long Island. "I've never known anyone who was more self-righteous and unforgiving than Eliot Spitzer."

Read the whole thing for more on Spitzer's many spats with the jackals on Wall St.

1 comment:

rdan said...

Hi AI.

I love the story frames.