Sheriff Spitzer Asks the Regulated to Regulate the Regulators

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Eliot Spitzer made his reputation as the so-called Sheriff of Wall Street. So it's more than a bit surprising that the governor now wants to streamline and somewhat rein in the financial world's cops. Yesterday, he created the Commission to Modernize the Regulation of Financial Services — or, put another way, a commission to change the same regulations he imposed, as A.G. Chuck Prince — the Citigroup CEO who inherited the scandal-plagued colossus from semi-disgraced Sandy Weill — will sit on the commission; so will Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. What gives? Well, "excessive litigation" is one kink that needs ironing out, says the Times. A swarm of regulators with overlapping jurisdictions is another (the insurance, state, and banking departments as well as A.G.'s office all currently act as Wall Street watchdogs). But mostly, it's this: The finance industry is the state's biggest cash cow, and Eliot Spitzer is the state's governor. And so the sheriff rides into the sunset.

Now, Spitzer Is Warming to Wall St. [NYT]