Last month, I wrote about the numerous comebacks we are likely to see next year. Americans are a forgiving people who don’t hold a grudge, and every last one of us loves a good comeback story.
Well, in the spirit of the holiday season, Eliot Spitzer is the latest of the fallen to come back hard! Spitzer, in case you have already forgotten about him, was the hard-charging prosecutor, then Governor, who fled office after a minor zipper problem erupted into a full-fledged prostitute scandal. Well, having spent nearly nine months in exile, his dues paid, the former governor is back in business.
Spitzer is now apparently a columnist for Slate Magazine. His debut column, actually pretty good, decried the government bailout:
The CACC story highlights the risk that current bailouts—a remarkable $7.8 trillion in equity, loans, and guarantees so far—may merely perpetuate a fundamentally flawed status quo. So far, at least, we are simply rebuilding the same edifice that just collapsed. None of the investments has even begun to address the underlying structural problems that are causing economic power to shift away from the United States, sector by sector. . . A more sensible approach would focus not just on rescuing pre-existing financial institutions but, instead, on creating a structure for more contained and competitive ones. . .Two responses are possible: One is to accept the need for gigantic financial institutions and the impossibility of failure—and hence the reality of explicit government guarantees, such as Fannie and Freddie now have—but then to regulate the entities so heavily that they essentially become extensions of the government. To do so could risk the nimbleness we want from economic actors. The better policy is to return to an era of vibrant competition among multiple, smaller entities—none so essential to the entire structure that it is indispensable.
Yes, Spitzer’s back, and he is not too hip on saving a bunch of bloated failing corporations, a move he sees as delaying the inevitable. I am almost afraid to check the comment section to see what people wrote, for I fear that most will veer wildly off topic. All right, who am I kidding, let’s check it out:
OK, at first glance it seems that the commentocracy is not as forgiving as your average, run-of-the-mill grouping of Americans. Go figure. Good luck on your column, Mr. Spitzer, and kudos, Slate for buying into the American dream of the comeback.
Post Script: Perhaps Ashley Dupre (the other half of the Spitzer scandal) could guest post on XX Factor, Slate’s all-girl blog from time to time? Tell me that wouldn’t drive up hits and ad revenue. . .