Spitzer Speaks: On Fed, FDIC and Madoff

Eliot Spitzer’s trip to Happy Ending, the Chinatown massage parlor turned nightclub, for Slate.com’s holiday party is the gift the keeps on giving. Or maybe the light that keeps shining much longer than expected.

Earlier this week, we told you about Financial Times columnist John Gapper’s encounter with the disgraced former New York Governor. Today we find out that one of our favourite off-kilter, perpetually outraged financial reporters, Moe Tkacik, also grilled the gov on Monday night.

Here’s what Moe found out.

Spitzer on Geithner. “And so I asked Eliot Spitzer what he made of incoming Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and sure enough he gave a reply markedly lacking in discretion: ‘Tim is a good guy, but he’s not a thinker. He’s the status quo.'”

Spitzer of Bair. “
I asked if F.D.I.C. Chairman Sheila Bair, the Republican who is improbably the left’s favourite financial regulator right now, might have been a better choice; he wasn’t sure if she could handle ‘the politics’ but said she had been the ‘voice of reason’ in the whole debacle.”

Spitzer on Geithner versus Bair. “He did not know whether reports that Geithner is behind a movement to oust Bair for not being a ‘team player’ were true, but he said he shared my concerns that the regulatory team being assembled would not do enough to challenge the logical flaws and undemocratic principles that characterise Wall Street’s, ahem, conventional wisdom.’

Spitzer on Madoff versus the Jews.
“When another party-goer joked that ‘Bernie Madoff was worse for the Jews than anyone since David Berkowitz,’ Spitzer shot back, ‘Well, I was New York’s second Jewish governor and look what I did.'”

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