Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spitzer, gone too far?

New York's AG, Eliot Spitzer was initially known has a hard-nosed, but fair individual who sought to clean up America's financial institutions. Since his early successes, he has now reached a level where some are comparing him to a mafioso.

Stephen W. Stanton has said: "He breaks the law. He lies. He intimidates. He makes his own rules, and he gets what he wants. And yet he remains a very popular guy. "

Jay Bryant says that he is now resorting to extortion, while William J. Holstein has called for his resignation over a conflict of interest.

Spitzer has now turned his sights on the sub-prime lending business, a business which offers loans at a higher rate, to high risk candidates who otherwise would not be able to get a loan. Spitzer sent out a letter recently to all the major banks, requesting information that demonstrate banks were discriminating in their issuance of loans based on race. As is probably true, there is a disproportionate number of minorities who don't qualify for the current rates and must seek the sub-prime rates. While this in and of itself means nothing, it could provide fodder for Spitzer's future press conferences and demands. Unfortunately for those with poor credit, an attack on the sub-prime lenders might remove the only option they have left.

Hopefully, Spitzer sticks with financial institutions that really are hurting and cheating Americans.


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