Via Skimble, a most interesting theory:
I have yet to see this reported anywhere, but an anonymous commenter named trademonster on an investment forum said this (notice the dates):
01-09-06 06:49 AM
I've heard that SEC is going to shut down Madoff financial and all of their hedge funds for SEC violations. Can anyone confirm this?
01-14-06 02:52 PM
I actually got some update and found out that it's Spitzer's office doing the investigation not SEC. But I don't know what the scope of the investigation is.
Suddenly Spitzer's dalliances with a hooker don't seem quite as fundmentally important to the financial health of this country.
We need people who understand the system to police it. No matter how sanctimonious or egomaniacal you may find him, Spitzer understands the financial system. If these posts are true, somebody in power was more interested in the the details of Eliot Spitzer's transactions than Bernard L. Madoff's. They were obviously more interested in killing the watchdog than in catching the billionaire burglar.
And via Corrente, something even more interesting from Michael Isikoff's Newsweek story about the FISA whistleblower:
[Under the secret and illegal "Stellar Wind" program of domestic warrantless surveillance,] NSA was also able to access, for the first time, massive volumes of personal financial records—such as credit-card transactions, wire transfers and bank withdrawals—that were being reported to the Treasury Department by financial institutions. These included millions of "suspicious-activity reports," or SARS, according to two former Treasury officials who declined to be identified talking about sensitive programs. (It was one such report that tipped FBI agents to former New York governor Eliot Spitzer's use of prostitutes.) These records were fed into NSA supercomputers for the purpose of "data mining"—looking for links or patterns that might (or might not) suggest terrorist activity.
Lambert asks an important question: How did the suspicious activity report on Spitzer's financial transaction get from the NSA to the FBI?
He also notes the convenient timing, because Spitzer at the time was looking into the monoline insurance companies - another important piece of the Wall St. crash.
Was the Bush administration using illegally obtained information to take down political enemies? Oh, I think it's a safe bet. And do you suppose they were deliberately trying to keep Spitzer from exposing extensive Wall St. fraud?
What do you think?