Friday, April 10, 2009

Eliot Spitzer's Downfall Was Devastating For America

Though it didn't sink in at the time, then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's abrupt resignation due to his "Hookergate" scandal was devastating toward achieving accountability for the financial fraud that has brought the world's economies to a halt and "brings up some unsettling questions about Bush's surveillance programs; mainly whether they are really being used to investigate potential terrorists or simply a means of destroying political enemies" as proposed by writer Mike Whitney in his excellent article "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...No...It's Spitzer to the Rescue."
The first 100 days of the Obama administration have left little doubt that the financial industry giants dictate legislation and oversight for their sector, regardless of what party is in control. Democrats and Republicans alike have grown far too fond of the perks and contributions they receive from the industry. This is nothing new but what is new has been their complete abandonment of the "other" Americans that they're supposed to represent. Obama himself has wasted little time in deviating from his campaign promises. He's increasing military spending over the Bush-era military budgets, has gone missing on pro-labor issues that he expounded so often during the campaign and has loaded his financial advisory team with Wall Street insiders that are supposed to fix the problems that they created through mega-billion-dollar actions of insurance and securities fraud.
Whitney makes a very compelling argument that Spitzer was Public Enemy #1 to the shadow banking industry that controls our economy, manipulates what should be free markets and is now robbing public funds in unprecedented fashion. The premise of his article is that Obama's SEC chief Mary Shapiro is "another Wall Street toady who believes that the markets can regulate themselves" and "if Obama is serious about restoring confidence in the markets, he should replace Schapiro with Spitzer. That would send a message to the world that the president is through messing around."
Whitney writes that "just days before the Spitzer scandal broke, the Washington Post published an article by Spitzer (titled Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime) which linked the Bush administration to the mortgage fiasco. He showed how Bush had blocked all efforts to save loan applicants from being fleeced by mortgage lenders. Spitzer was joined by many other state attorneys general who noticed early on that predatory lending was on the rise and that there was a concerted effort to keep the mortgage swindle going whether applicants had the ability to make their payments or not."
Journalist Greg Palast in his article "Eliot's Mess" claims that ruining Spitzer was a decision made at the discretion of Bush's Justice Department because he "not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its founder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup’s Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers.....But there were rumblings that the party would soon be over.....the big players knew that unless Spitzer was taken out, he would create enough ruckus to spoil the party. Headlines in the financial press – one was “Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer” - made clear to Bush’s enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn’t Bin Laden."
You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to smell something rotten in this story. Now that the lone Wall Street enforcer is gone, it's a foregone conclusion that the Democratic Congress will be of absolutely no use in representing the interests of Americans in this taxpayer plunder. So far the only place Americans know their money has gone is into the pockets of the same people who brought down the house of cards that they built. The fact that a complicit government is aiding and abetting the crime is an irony of magnificent proportion. The Sheriff of Wall Street may have been our best hope at fighting for a public accounting of the financial fraud that still occurs with every new bailout of the banking sector.
Mike Whitney: "The public is not in the mood for any more lame excuses or windy oratory from President Inspiration. Just get on with it. Governing is more than just gliding from one teleprompter to the next pointing at rainbows and promising Utopia. There has to be action, accountability, and justice. But since the real objective appears to be keeping the same basic power-structure in place at all costs; the present course will do just fine. One unmistakable sign of imperial decline is the inability to make critical changes when the country's future depends on it."

1 comment:

bigsoxfan said...

Interesting Post, I had just stopped by to say hello and saw that you bigged up on the big issues; politics, economy, and oral sex. When I'm done, I'll be sure to read it throughly. Anyway, I just didn't think about heading up the hill, had I thought about your vista and/or the land clearing up towards Marpi, I surely would have. As it is, I took a brief swim in the channel at Tannepeg Meetting house and dropped my hat off at Bruce's. IT was a tough day, but, with the exception of saying hello to the Steele family, I packed as much in as I could. And yes, I was flying under the radar. So funny, after having been away for awhile, to be treated at Wild Bill's as if I had just been gone for week or so. Bill says; that is normal, if you paid your last tab. Happy times, Randy. San Diego is doing ok.