At the time of Spitzer's resignation, I blogged that something about the investigation didn't pass the smell test, the Don Siegelman case foremost on my mind. But journalist Greg Palast has made a compelling case tying the Spitzer investigation to a different top story.
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort' $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush's new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.
Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there's a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush's man Bernanke was using ours.
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. Read on...
The whole Bear Stearns bail out is hilarious when you consider how horrified these 'free market' proponents are at the thought of say, socialized medicine, but barely bat an eye at socialized banking. Privatize profits and nationalize losses, anyone? Meanwhile, decades of Republican economic strategy has brought us to a recession, if not teetering on the edge of a depression (The similarities in the economy of the 1920s and today are there for the finding). What will be telling is what kind of bonuses will be handed out to Bear Stearns executives in light of this massive failure of management.