Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unwinding Spitzer

I love the game of follow the money. For anything political particularly.

I was intrigued by the humiliating take down of the former Governor of New York. Especially knowing that very few politicos are exempt from extra-marital perks be it hetero or straight, be it paid for in one way or another - cash or kind. And so many of the sleazy doings of those in power never get exposed or lie in wait for a decent post-mortem stretch of time (see KFK, LBJ et al). You have to really spit (ye gads, pardon the pun!) in the face of a big cheese to get punished this hugely (see Clinton).

So what was happening at the same time as Eliot's big fall from grace? The bailout of a private company (Bear Stearns along with a nifty assist to JP Morgan)) by the Federal Reserve.

And sure enough the dots start connecting:

This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.
Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.
Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied.
How? Follow the money.
The press has swallowed Wall Street’s line that millions of US families are about to lose their homes because they bought homes they couldn’t afford or took loans too big for their wallets. Ba-LON-ey. That’s blaming the victim.

Read (and weep) all about it here in Eliot's Mess.

They got Eliot real good, huh?

And as a side track, though an admirer and fan of anything Beatle, I had a small and private chuckle at how much Paul paid for each boink of his marriage. A million dollars? A half million? That Mucca sure costed our Macca, big time.

Elliot’s courtesan is beginning to look like a bargain.


  1. I hadn't realised about the Spitzer/financial link, WWW. I didn't read anything but the headlines on "the scandal" last week, having read too many such tales in the past. It looks like this was a clasic "thrown under the bus" moment to deflect attention.

    At least Heather didn't get the chunk of Paul's fortune she had envisioned. I remember first encountering her in an article she wrote about her life in one of the Sunday papers way way back in the UK, before Paul even knew her I think. I took an instant dislike to her from her tone and the way she spoke of other people. I could hardly believe it when Paul married her.
    There's no accounting for taste!!

  2. Greg Palast's article is very interesting. I knew about Spitzer's criticism of financial institutions but I didn't know the detail and it never occurred to me he was nobbled because he was an obstacle to the Fed's bailout. As you say, the really gut-churning thing is that the people at the top just get richer while the Black and Hispanic loan victims are left sleeping in their cars.

  3. T:
    My niece met her and took an instant dislike, at that time she was with Paul on the Anti-Sealing campaign and was extremely rude and dismissive to anyone caught engaging in conversation with him. My niece wondered what he was doing married to such a harridan.

    And we always have to watch those "Britney" moments, don't we, something BIG is always going down.

  4. And what makes it worse, Nick, is that they are already sleeping in tents. The rich are getting richer and the poor are so far below the cracks there will be a massive crisis and soon.
    It is rare we see such disregard for its own people that we see on an every day basis in the Land of the Free. Free to be homeless and healthcare less I guess.

  5. I had to broadcast this one - with acknowledgments to your good self, of course. I knew Bush had instigated the sub-prime mess, but not to such a degree as Palast describes it. I have great respect for his journalistic abilities.

    On the subject of Macca, I believe he was never over Linda when he married Heather. I think it was the result of loneliness. I feel sorry for him. As for her - nothing more than a money-grabber.

  6. it brings home to me yet again, RJA, that everyone has good and bad in them. Nothing is grey.
    Here it is E.S. the lone voice of protest in the wilderness of political skullduggery at its worst while he partakes of prostitution (and Gawd knows perhaps exposing his wife to disease).
    And then poor old Macca paying so much for his few years of hell with the harridan because he is so highminded - he doesn't live with a woman without marriage. Living in sin might have helped him a lot....:>)


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