MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan had former New York governor and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on his show last night.
During the program, the pair tore apart the Federal Reserves super-secretive $7.77 trillion bank loans, the MF Global debacle and the Citigroup/SEC settlement.
Looking back, Spitzer said he wished he had handcuffed more Wall Streeters.
"No question about it. In retrospect, I wish we had put more people
in handcuffs. I don’t mind saying it, because the banks didn’t learn the
lesson," he told Ratigan.
Watch the video below. [via DylanRatigan.com]
ELIOT SPITZER: There was an amazing piece of journalism that came out yesterday which analyzed the magnitude of the loans that have been made by the feds to the banks. The six big banks in particular got over $400 billion of secret loans, most of which we had not heard about. Now, at the time these banks were getting these loans, they were claiming to be in great financial shape. So why were the loans made? Is there a tension between the public statements being made by the CEO’s of the banks–
DYLAN RATIGAN: Let’s stop there. It’s very clear there’s an anecdote, Bank of America, we can reference all these things, where those bank CEO’s are saying explicitly, ‘this is a sound financial institution,’ at the exact moment that they are drawing against the U.S. taxpayer at its central bank, into the hundreds of billions of dollars, now we are learning, going into the trillions. What is the answer to that question? Which is, can I go out and say that and do this?
ELIOT SPITZER: The answer is no. And if you or I did that, if you or I went to a bank –
DYLAN RATIGAN: Or went to our shareholders.
ELIOT SPITZER: Or made any public statement, knowing it to be false, we’d be in handcuffs. So the question I have is, look, we don’t know a lot of these facts. Let’s predicate — there are 100 uncertainties, but where is the inquiry right now about all the statements being made by the CEO’s, CFO’s none of which revealed these enormous loans.
DYLAN: Let me ask you a question to play devil’s advocate. Is there integrity in my saying, as the CEO of Bank of America that my financial institution is healthy, knowing that I’ve got, let’s say $80 billion out to the Federal Reserve, because it is healthy, because I have $80 billion from this Federal Reserve?