Maria Bartiromo: Tim Geithner apparently flagged the problem 5 years ago. Why didn’t he do more about this? He basically called the Bank of England and said he was worried about the approach in terms of Libor, that they needed to change it. Did he do enough?

Eliot Spitzer: Look I think it would be preemptory to say one way or the other. This is something that needs an awful lot of examination. I think the fact that he knew in ’07, sent a memo in ’08 is only the first layer of inquiry. Did he follow up on it? Libor, as everyone who watches CNBC knows, is the heart and soul, it is the blood stream of the financial system. If anyone is rigging it or playing games with it then you must follow up. Anybody who is in the regulatory position that Tim Geithner was in, in my view the most important bank regulatory position in the world, how do you not follow up and say wait a minute guys what have you done? So it’s unclear, and I hate to use this metaphor perhaps, but was this the sort of memo that was being sent at Penn State where you just kind of brush it aside or was it really an effort to do something?

MB: Oh god.

ES: This bears an awful lot of inquiry. Because it goes to the very real question of whether the NY Fed did not fulfill its fundamental function to ensure the soundest [and] security of the balance sheets of the banks all the way through the period leading up to the crisis. Is this one piece of evidence that runs contrary to that or one piece of evidence that supports it? We don’t know yet.

MB: What a comparison.

ES: Well let me tell you Maria, unfortunately when you see memos at the top being written like that, you never know, you have to ask the question, what preceded it, what came after it, otherwise you don’t understand the texture of what was being done by that senior person.

Spitzer Talks Wall Street [CNBC]

14 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (14)

  1. Posted by Nick | July 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    We should never doubt those who know.

  2. Posted by T. Callahan, CFA | July 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Very apt comparison, I have no concerns. Any views on the proper way to inspect a steak or the value of a guarantee? Thanks!

  3. Posted by guest | July 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Sounds logical.

    - UBS Analogy Quant

  4. Posted by Hank Greenberg | July 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Every interview is an audition for a new TV show with this guy.

  5. Posted by Guest | July 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Why does Spitzer care so much? I've never heard of any hooker who indexes her rates to LIBOR *

    * Yes, I that what's alleged is that banks pushed down LIBOR, so it would have to be hooker rates indexed to the inverse of LIBOR. Point is – no connection between hooker rates and LIBOR.

  6. Posted by UFO | July 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Elliot,

    KYS

    - everyone

  7. Posted by Hmmm | July 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Is MB having an orgasm?

  8. Posted by Truth | July 13, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Thank you Maria

  9. Posted by Butt Aroma | July 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Wait, I thought the London Whale was a guy.

  10. Posted by Thorton Mellon | July 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Whaaa? No "Noted Hooker Fucker" tag? Bess, c'mon do us a solid even though it's a Friday. Love you.

  11. Posted by Martinnnnnn Act | July 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    ES seriously tell us how we can have more morals! you a ho ho

  12. Posted by Nice Rack | July 15, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    SPITZER RULE – - anytime he is mentioned, you need to show Ashley's photo on the boat!

  13. Posted by Mercury | July 16, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Actually Eliot LIBOR tracks US Fed Funds so tightly I’m surprised you haven’t tried to violate it yourself. US Fed Funds, you’ll recall, is an official rate set by central planners and currently the main weapon of their zero/near zero interest rate policy which will screw just about everyone in the end as savings are punished and future obligations are unable to be met.

    So, the most apt analogy (for you personally and the rest of the country) isn’t Penn State so much as an angry bald man in black socks ass raping someone a few generations his junior.

  14. Posted by Guest | July 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    malus bonum ubi se simulat, tunc est pessimus

    Translation

    a bad man, when he pretends to be a good man, is the worst man of all