Roger Stone is the longtime dirty-trickster who knocked the socks off of Eliot Spitzer in a scandal of high-priced trysts that forced resignation of the NY Governor earlier this year. With a Republican pedigree stretching to Watergate, Stone needed little inducement more than Spitzer's capital "D" affiliation.
But, as the nation's taxpayers await the terms of our extortion by the Bush Administration's 'exempt from oversight' bankers' club under a plan -- including full immunity -- led by Henry Paulson, it's time to consider the political assassination of another White House enemy for the SOP it was.
Sure, Spitzer should have de-socked before his career-ending indiscretion. But we should revisit the prophetic message that was lost to the tsunami of Spitzer's scandalization two weeks later.
Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers, Feb. 14, 2008. Washington Post.
Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders...These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.
Spitzer's omen went further to note that not only did the White House do nothing, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye after 50 state Attorneys General and many legislative attempts failed to halt the worst of the predatory lending excesses. The AGs and their banking superintendents fought the Bush Administration's use of a Civil War era banking provision which established federal preemption of all state predatory lending laws and the new rules which emasculated state consumer protections from national banks.
Shortly before Stone's November tip finally mobilized national law enforcement to rescue Americans from the perverse activities of Spitzer and his calf-length socks, he left a final warning:
When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.
We're now to let Industry's insider dictate the terms under which we'll spend the heritage of our grandchildren to repurchase the bloody bag of instruments of our rape? Elliot Spitzer warned us and was taken out.
Now, the banking industry wants us to pay for the repercussions of gluttonous global pillaging under the deregulatory regime. It's way past time to stop being complicit in our victimization.