Saturday, March 15, 2008

Star that flamed away

Politicians and politics do not interest me much. However, this week a politician or more than that a good regulator I had come to admire faded away into oblivion. That's sad. By now, you may have guessed it. The man is Eliot Spitzer, ex- governor of New York.

I admired Spitzer when he went after financial services industry. That was the time when mutual fund companies, brokers all played with our money to their benefits. Mutual funds companies traded our money in and out - many times against the set policies of the funds. They helped make a great deal of money for the brokers they used to trade funds. In the net, we lost out in reduced gains and in many cases lost out big time.

Spitzer was the attorney general of New York back in those days. He went after these irregularities methodically and won the admiration of many people like me who felt helpless. Helpless because for small investors options were limited. And among the options we had mutual funds seemed the best. People whom we had trusted our money with doing this kind of things.

It was due to Spitzer's no holds barred approach which reined in these hoodlums of the industry. He made them pay huge fines. A little of which was used to compensate people who were the victims of malpractice. More than anything he was successful in instilling a sense of fear and responsibility on wall street. Bravo for all that.

Later Spitzer became the governor of NY. Even after he became governor, he kept a watchful eye on anything out of ordinary in financial sector.

I wish he had not destructed himself the way he did by getting entangled in sex scandal. Too bad. Human  weakness got better off of him. If he is genuinely a good man, destiny will forgive him although it may look like his career is over for good. I hope it turns out be like that and Spitzer comes back to public life after doing (moral) time for his mistakes.


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