Today Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation as Governor and perhaps the two most ironic twists are his ill fated pilgrimage to the “Mayflower Hotel” and the name he used to check in, George Fox. George Fox, a hedge fund manager, is his close friend. Clearly Fox and the moral ethical desert embodied by hedge funds was a key driver in Spitzer’s demise. With friends like that, who needs adverseries.
Perhaps even greater than the shame Spitzer should feel is that of the traders at the NYSE that cheered his demise. As if these traders had no regard for Spitzer’s accomplishments and recognition of how many pensions were lost due to their blatantly illegal and criminal activities. They seem instead anxious to return to robbing investors with impunity.
What you won’t read in the press is the fact that Spitzer’s three greatest adversaries were Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch, for reasons detailed below:
Recently four of Buffett’s top executives, including the CEO and CFO, in his most important company, General RE Insurance, were convicted of fraud regarding transactions with AIG, as reported in CFO Magazine. They all face significant fines and long prison terms. During the trial is was made clear that Buffett was completely aware of these transactions yet he was never called to testify, nor charged.
It was Spitzer who took down the AIG CEO Greenburg, who was instrumental in blocking most key accounting reforms, using Conneticut Senator Joe Lieberman as his main political tool. Lieberman even stood up in the Senate on one occasion and threatened to defund the Securities and Exchange Commission if it pursued rules that would have prevented Enron like accounting.
Spitzer also took on Microsoft head on and this anti-trust case was the biggest since Standard Oil in the 1920’s. As noted here, Spitzer led the effort of 19 states in its effort against Microsoft’s abusive practices.
Another key Spitzer adversary was Rupert Murdoch, who now owns the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and various other media outlets. Spitzer exposed corruption in the recording industry, the famous “payola” scandal, which significantly impacted Murdoch’s businesses. Murdoch can now be sure that a lot less attention with respect to media consolidation will occur with Spitzer out of the picture. Murdoch has so little credibility that the owners of the Dow Jones Company even made a proposal to Gazprom, the Russian state energy company, in the hope they would buy it, rather than Murdoch. Ironically, most Americans don’t know or care much about these vital media interests being owned one such as Rupert Murdoch.
Just prior to Spitzer’s resignation I put a 6 minute video on youtube with my take on why he should not resign. It can be accessed by searching at youtube.com under the words bill parish spitzer.
YOU TUBE VIDEO SEARCH TERMS: bill parish spitzer