How Eliot Spitzer fucked up his life is not in question -- he wasn't clever enough at moving large sums of cash to avoid the IRS' attention
. But why did "they" get him, and why now? Because it shouldn't be difficult to bury an FBI investigation of a sitting governor -- such arrangements are made all the time
Here's a pretty good guess, and we welcome yours and others.
| Angry Bear | Spitzer, the OCC, and the Emperor's Club
I am going to weave you one--connecting Spitzer's recent confession as Client Number 9 in the Emperor's Club and his February announcement that the Bush administration through the OCC (Office of the Controller of the Currency) has been complicit in allowing predatory lending practices among national banks and thrifts.
a rising hero in the Democratic Party, obviously scheduled for callings higher than that as governor of New York State. The long and short of this conspiracy theory is: "They" got him. Spitzer, like Bill Clinton, has a big weakness: His desire for illicit sex....
On February 28, 2008, Spitzer wrote an article
in the Washington Post, one that received little attention, yet one that strikes at the heart of the subprime mess that is now threatening each and every one of us.
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
The OCC is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Charted in 1863, its purpose is to organize and to administer a system of national banks and a uniform currency....
In his 2003 annual report, J. D. Hawke, Jr., then Comptroller of the Currency, said:
In response to an appeal by two national banks and after reviewing public comment, the OCC concluded that a Georgia law that imposed severe restrictions on all lenders operating within the state, did not apply to national banks and their subsidiaries. In issuing this preemption determination, the OCC ruled that the Georgia law interfered with national banks’ ability to exercise permissible federal powers and was thus in conflict with federal law.
A storm was brewing. Many state examiners were concerned that predatory lending practices were on the rise. In 2003, the seeds of the now subprime disaster had been planted....
So there you have it, a brand new conspiracy theory. Spitzer was the visible leader, spearheading the attempt to hold responsible those who have created what Nouriel Roubini calls a "financial meltdown."
His voice was a national voice, not some out-of-the way examiner. Was there an attempt to find the messenger's weakness, to sully him so that his message would not be heard?