March 24, 2009
Spitzer for Treasury Secretary

Brother Bill thinks we should take a look at the complete transcript (excerpts below) of Fareed Zakaria’s interview on CNN with Eliot Spitzer. As indeed we should. Spitzer, for all you recent arrivals from Mars, was forced out as New York’s governor by a huge mob of sinners, each determined to cast the first stone. Is this a pathetic country or what?

[AIG’s problems] stemmed from an effort from the very top to gin up returns whenever, wherever possible, and to push the boundaries in a way that would garner returns almost regardless of risk. And so, to the extent that there is a discussion, did this begin before or after the tenure of Hank Greenberg, it’s unambiguous — unambiguous that the structures and the flaws and the policies began while he was there. That is why the board that he had controlled with an iron fist asked him to leave. It was their decision — not my decision, their decision — to ask him to step down, something that was then and is now very unusual…

Back then I said to people, AIG is at the center of the web. The financial tentacles of this company stretched to every major investment bank. The web between AIG and Goldman Sachs is something that should be pursued…

Financial services doesn’t really generate wealth. Financial — the capital markets are designed to raise money and then apportion it to industries that are creative, whether it’s biotech or automotive, or anything else.

Financial services should be a conduit. Instead, we became enamored of the products themselves. And what resulted was this enormous bubble in assets, ginned up and supported by a financial services sector that, because of a series of improper incentives, got us to where we are right now…

And any time I hear the SEC say, we didn’t have the power to do this or that, forget it. They had more people, more power, more money than was necessary. What they lacked was the creativity and the will…



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at March 24, 2009 04:58 PM
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I second that nomination.

And I still smell a setup in that Spitzer gotcha. He had a great many very rich enemies at that time.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on March 25, 2009 6:09 PM
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