Saturday, March 15, 2008

Told You So

Greg Palast ("Armed Madhouse" and "Best Democracy Money Can Buy") agrees with me that the Spitzer thing was a political hit. Unlike me, he's pretty sure it was because Spitzer stood in the way of the money. (h/t to C&L)

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.

[...]

...when the Bush regime took over, Countrywide and its banking brethren were told to party hearty – it was OK now to steer’m, fake’m, charge’m and take’m.

But there was this annoying party-pooper. The Attorney General of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who sued these guys to a fare-thee-well. Or tried to.

Instead of regulating the banks that had run amok, Bush’s regulators went on the warpath against Spitzer and states attempting to stop predatory practices. Making an unprecedented use of the legal power of “federal pre-emption,” Bush-bots ordered the states to NOT enforce their consumer protection laws.

Indeed, the feds actually filed a lawsuit to block Spitzer’s investigation of ugly racial mortgage steering. Bush’s banking buddies were especially steamed that Spitzer hammered bank practices across the nation using New York State laws.

Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community.

[...]

It was the night of February 13 when Spitzer made the bone-headed choice to order take-out in his Washington Hotel room. He had just finished signing these words for the Washington Post about predatory loans:

“Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.”

Bush, Spitzer said right in the headline, was the “Predator Lenders’ Partner in Crime.” The President, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet.

Spitzer wrote, “When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably.”

But now, the Administration can rest assured that this love story – of Bush and his bankers - will not be told by history at all – now that the Sheriff of Wall Street has fallen on his own gun.
Read the whole thing, if you dare, but I warn you that you should have some Pepto Bismol standing by. It ain't pretty.

So, basically, Spitzer gets taken out of power in a political hit and may go to jail.

And don't think they won't do it. Don Siegleman of Alabama is nothing short of a political prisoner of the Bush Junta and Spitzer could become one as well.

1 comment:

yerwifeizhot said...

As far as the political hit goes: I hear ya, but with reservations. Were he an "ordinary" citizen would the bank employee(s) have informed the IRS of suspicious activity? doubtful.

However, I remember a movie of yore "The Firm" starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman. Gene & Tom go to the caribbean somewhere and there is a "set-up" on the beach. Cruise defends the honor of an exotic looking prostitute with a conveniently wounded ankle. A few rubs of the achilles heel later, they hook up to the sounds of a clicking telephoto lens. Foreshadow the blackmail and near end of his marriage later. My point is, Cruise's character and Spitzer didn't have a gun held to their head....a mickey slipped in their drink. The fact is: fictionally and non-fictionally, political "hit" or not, they did it.