May 3, 2009

The Assassination of Eliot Spitzer (the man who should be the INDEPENDENT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR GOING AFTER THE BANKSTERS AND GEORGE W. BUSH)



Here's the op-ed that got Eliot Spitzer taken out, published just days before his "hooker scandal" broke.

You know, as if they were saving up this Achilles heel, just for when they needed it.

Damn, these grifters were good. Real good.

Could it be any more f*cking obvious?

Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime - How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers

By Eliot Spitzer
Thursday, February 14, 2008; Page A25

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers' ability to repay, making loans with deceptive "teaser" rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York's, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.

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.

Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

Throughout our battles with the OCC and the banks, the mantra of the banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were trying to protect. But the curbs we sought on predatory and unfair lending would have in no way jeopardized access to the legitimate credit market for appropriately priced loans. Instead, they would have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and put our economy in a precarious position.

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. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.

The writer is governor of New York.

16 comments:

bank dick said...

But Keith, you told us these greedy borrowers were criminals, people who knowingly perpetrated fraud to get their loans. Now you're claiming they are victims of predatory lenders? Duped by that evil genius GWB?

WTF, over?

Anonymous said...

bush is a homo?

nice.

Anonymous said...

black people cannot live without being baby site.

Instead of this massive policing of all the people why don't we just say blacks are not allowed to own property?

Anonymous said...

Anybody having problems accessing available credit with their Citibank or Chase credit cards? They are declining charges even when you have no balance. Maybe they have no money to lend? Kinda weird.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article. Of course we all know Spitzer is no boy scout. His dealings as a special prosecutor were right up there with Guiliani - sharkish, petty, and chock full of blackmail - all of which would have been perfect for the great litigious unravelling of our current mess. Too bad he couldn't keep his johnson in his pants and his credibility afloat.

Reality said...

Keith,

Eliot Spitzer was college roommate with Jim Cramer. I wouldn't trust any one of them. The greatness of America is not the result of a few staintly leaders, but the result of the ingenuity of the American people! Get the government out of the way! The old world knew plenty about government officials intervening in the market place "to uphold justice" . . . that's why they scrambled to get out there to come to the new world! LOL! While I like Spitzer for his human foibles (just like Clinton before him), his overzealous prosecution of Hank Maurice Greenberg directly led to the AIG collapse, as the only man who could have reined in the AIG London office was removed from the scene.

Anonymous said...

Ditto that bank dick, I too am confused? I don't get why in one thread Keith says he is against cram down, and in this one he "promotes the truth" that this social experiment (greedy as it may be) obviously has gone very WRONG! What's up Keith, feeling any compassion now?

mos6507 said...

Spitzer only has himself to blame for his fate. Stop trying to make him into some kind of martyr.

Virtue Rewarded said...

So how do you "follow the money" on this one?

Yeah, there was predatory lending by the banks, yeah, there was lax governmental regulation of the banks and bank -like operations, and yeah, home debtors went all out committing fraud; but who is the most guilty?

It is too simple to say the fault was only that of GW Bush. Come on, Barney Frank had his sticky little fingers all over Freddie and Fannie and succesfully resisted a crack down by Bush. Both political sides were bought and paid for by Wall Street donations and so both sides were asleep when it came to regulating. The Democratic and Republican government failed to do its' job and is now bailing out its' cronies on Wall Street, so that these sweethearts, Miss Whore Washington and Mr. Big Bucks Wall Street, can keep on dancing with the stars.

What we are talking about is corruption at the core of both government and Wall Street. And now we are letting these same people fix it??? Ohhhh...they've been such bad boys.

I would just love to see Spitzer in there, as tough and dirty a fighter as he is, just kicking some ass and stirring it all up. Cavorting with hookers is chump change compared to leveraging the country. There is no evidence that Spitzer was on the take --he doesn't need the money. I think he is a tortured slimeball in his personal life, but we need a tough slimy piece of work to clean this mess up. Can you imagine the energy and revenge he must have in his gut at this point? I bet Spitzer knows more about where the bodies are buried than that Milquetoast, Geithner. Sic him!!!

Anonymous said...

WTF is wrong with you? Spitzer as savior? You have lost you mind, or at least your perspective. Stop vacillating from abroad and fight the fight here, at home, where it matters. Spitzer is a loser, just another POL and nothing more.

Kangtong

Virtue Rewarded said...

Interesting article,"The Regulatory Charade" by Spitzer in Slate online: http://www.slate.com/id/2215055/

"Instead of creating new regulations and laws that don't really address the root causes of the crisis, we should look to a simpler but more fundamental way to limit systemic financial risk and simultaneously create a healthier financial marketplace: If it is too big to fail, break it up."

He almost sounds like a Republican - he makes a lot of sense. His points are simple, clear and might just work.

les said...

Spitzer is exactly right.


BTW, why is prostitution a crime? Who is the injured party?


Cuomo's days are numbered.

Anonymous said...

"...who is the most guilty?..."Would all those fraudulent loans have been made out of a lender's own funds?

HELL NO. This is a direct result of securities fraud; nothing more nor less.

Best Laugh Ever: "...When they[ratings agencies] finally did look[at actual loan files]..."the results were disconcerting...fraud in nearly every file we examined."..."This is clearly a CRIMINAL matter, and we now witness a willful abetting of the act by both non-prosecution and the bailouts.

No doc loans represented as AAA...is it really more complicated than that?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he poid some girl to bang him, BFD.

Quick question, who else was caught as a result of the FBI sting?

Can't think of anyone, can you?

Anonymous said...

God Bless the Washington Post. Home of Katie Graham, Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and so many courageous professionals who truly earned the title JOURNALIST. God love 'em, their numbers have been decimated. We are in danger of being pushed further back into the dark abyss of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Fellows, Spitzer could have gone to the Bunny Ranch in Nevada and then all of this stuff will be pure gossip and innuendo, since I believe, even Gov Ventura's been there and no one's made a stink about it. All and all, in America, if you want to do the nasty, you've got to know the rules. This isn't Holland, you know.