Palast: Spitzer Taken Down to Protect the Banks and Bush
Wooo-eee! Columnist Greg Palast has a powerful commentary on the difference between the trashing of Elliot Spitzer, crusader for consumers in the mortgage mess, and do-nothing Republican Senator David Vitter.
Spitzer, says Palast, was pretty much the only one standing in the way of a Federal reserve $200 billion bailout of banks who lost money in subprimes. Does this help the overmortgaged householder in any way? Nope.
And Spitzer was ready to take on the Bush administration over this, and in fact that’s what he was doing in Washington on that fateful night.
Fascinating reading. Here’s a little taste:
Then, on Wednesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. Carlyle Capital went bankrupt. Who? That’s Carlyle as in Carlyle Group. James Baker, Senior Counsel. Notable partners, former and past: George Bush, the Bin Laden family and more dictators, potentates, pirates and presidents than you can count.
The Fed had to act. Bernanke opened the vault and dumped $200 billion on the poor little suffering bankers. They got the public treasure – and got to keep the Grinning’s house. There was no ‘quid’ of a foreclosure moratorium for the ‘pro quo’ of public bail-out. Not one family was saved – but not one banker was left behind.
Every mortgage sharking operation shot up in value. Mozilo’s Countrywide stock rose 17% in one day. The Citi sheiks saw their company’s stock rise $10 billion in an afternoon.
And that very same day the bail-out was decided – what a coinkydink! – the man called, ‘The Sheriff of Wall Street’ was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced.
Funny–one thing I haven’t heard discussed at all, is that Spitzer built his reputation as a consumer advocate, yet he was willing to pay far more than the going rate. Forgetting for a moment about morality, about idiocy, about hypocrisy (this guy was a prosecutor before he became governor, and he even went after some of the high-end “escort” operations), about throwing your entire career away for a few minutes of pleasure–you really do have to wonder how someone who works so hard at stopping consumer ripoffs would pay, on multiple occasions, $5K to spend an evening with a call girl. I’ve owned cars that cost me less than that!