Spitzer: Responsible for crash
By Roger Stone The idea of former New York Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer criticizing the AIG bailout and bonus in a recent column for SLATE is ironic: Spitzer is responsible for the economic condition of the company for which they need a bailout. In fact, Spitzer's crackdown on Wall Street caused the firms to increase leverage because he took away the ability for them to make money in research and underwriting, and they looked for other ways to make money-like securitizing subprime mortgages. In fact, if Spitzer hadn't removed Maurice "Hank" Greenberg from AIG, the company would never have crashed. Greenberg was a much more conservative investor and had tighter risk management rules that were suspended by the company only after Spitzer drove Greenberg out over charges that proved bogus in the courts. The billion dollar investment in credit default swaps which were not hedged brought the company and the economy down. This insurance was written only after Greenberg was forced out and never would have been written under Greenberg's risk management rules. Thus, Eliot Spitzer is partially responsible for the current economic crisis, not some Boy Scout crying an early warning. This is so typical of his reign as Attorney General where he blackmailed companies by press release, threatening to destroy your company's value unless you pled to infractions you hadn't actually committed. Most saw the futility of winning in court after Spitzer had destroyed their company so they settled. When cases actually went to trial most were dismissed or those Spitzer apprehended were acquitted. Spitzer's assault on the New York Stock Exchange's Ken Grasso, Ken Langone and Greenberg, while not also pursuing NYSE board member Carl McCall for fear of offending key African American political leaders, stands out as the kind of perverted justice Spitzer pursued. Spitzer made base-less charges against Greenberg, drove him from the company and set the stage for AIGs collapse. Now, Spitzer criticizes the AIG -bail-out. Now that's chutzpah!