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10/20/06

2:48 PM

The Smartest Guy in the Room 

Grasso Verdict Nice But Not Necessary for Spitzer

Today while many mourn the fate of the Mets, our heart goes out to another defeated soul, Richard Grasso, now $100 million poorer than he was this time yesterday. A New York State Supreme Court ruling will leave the former New York Stock Exchange chair with but a mere $39.5 million of his $139.5 million retirement package he lied about to the board that governs the stock exchange. Even worse, poor Grasso was denied the $95 million in severance he believed he was owed for his "termination." That's tough, man.

It remains to be seen if Judge Charles Ramos's decision to grab a bite of Grasso's Cheddar will actually rustle any fig leafs on the engorged schlong of corporate capitalism, but it offers more shining validation for one tin-star-wearing maverick we all know and love. That defender of justice and good is, of course, Eliot Spitzer, the Sheriff of Wall Street, whose office had been trying to lasso Grasso for three years before getting the verdict they were looking for.

In any other election, the verdict's fortuitous timing would seem almost partisan by design, but Spitzer hardly needed the help. He's probably worried it'll make his certain and apparently crushing march to the governor's mansion seem less "pure."

His opponent, John Faso, had recently scrounged up a mini-issue criticizing Spitzer and fellow Democrat, state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, over the botched Moynihan Station deal, which Silver upended earlier this week. But there's Faso luck and then there's Spitzer luck, so don't expect any sort of criticism to stick.

Would You Buy Stock in This Man? [NYM]
Ex-Stock Exchange Chief Told to Return Millions [NYT]
Faso Rips Silver, Spitzer on Station Plan [NYDN]

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