March 15, 2008

You’re a Bargain

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 12:55 am

March 13, 2008

Froma Harrop: Give Spitzer Credit for Targeting Bad Guys

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Volt @ 4:42 pm

Froma Harrop, The Houston Chronicle, March 12, 2008

A few good words for Eliot Spitzer. The resigned New York governor could be brutish, vindictive and, when it comes to sexual rectitude, a grand hypocrite. But in going after the depredations of Wall Street, subprime lenders and corporate looters, he was a rare crusader.

In its duty to regulate financial activity, the Bush administration has committed gross negligence. The result — a plunging dollar, terrified credit markets, mass home foreclosures — is a national humiliation on par with Mrs. Spitzer’s personal one.

Spitzer railed against the excesses as well as outright fraud. It’s true that many liberal politicians have stepped forward to condemn abusive loans peddled to the unsophisticated and the ludicrous pay bundles of CEOs. But Spitzer, rich himself, was a Democrat representing the Empire State, whose economy benefits from a lively Wall Street casino. He was thus going after members of his better-heeled constituency.

It was Spitzer who blasted the Bush administration for actually stopping states from passing their own laws against predatory lending. Mortgage companies, he recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal, were “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.”

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