I caught him recently on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS and it struck me that he is so uniquely qualified to restore confidence in the markets.

At a time when everyone including the left (from Krugman to the HuffPo) alleges that bankers are taking over in a ‘quiet coup‘ and that even Obama’s administration has been compromised, Spitzer’s record as the tough cop is unimpeachable.  He took AIG to court (dethroning Greenberg), as well as many others even as the party raged on, which made him few friends.

Unlike everyone who doesn’t make a living at an investment bank, he understands how they operate and the instruments they peddled.

The question is, would people be willing to forgive his personal indiscretions?  And would Obama have the stomach to take a chance?  He was never actually indicted of anything since the government found no evidence that public money was used improperly, and apparently feds don’t go after johns in prostitution cases.

Give. Them. Time.

March 22, 2009

A reader at the Baseline Scenario describes just maybe why Treasury is moving cautiously:

Finally, let me remind you that Peter and Simon wrote a piece in the FT just over a month ago arguing AGAINST nationalization. Now, they are all for it. Yes, when the facts change, we change our minds…. but recognize that Tim Geithner  and Ben Bernanke do NOT have the option to change their minds. And they are NOT suddenly sell-outs or economic illiterates. But maybe they know too much about how close we came to the precipice and have become excessively risk averse. Perhaps. But quite honestly, I am not sure I blame them for wanting to be extra prudent. Back in  September, the vast majority of the financial commentariat said  Paulson made the right decision to let Lehman fail – it was not too big to fail. Now it’s the biggest mistake since Mellon liquidated the US banking sector. In such a crisis, certainty is not justified and should be left to the Rick Santellis of this world. At a time when Paul Krugman is disagreeing with Alan Blinder, maybe each side needs to listen more to the arguments of the other.