Need to rehabilitate a career after utterly humiliating and disgracing yourself in front of the world? Get an online column at Slate!
First came Henry Blodget, the go-go securities analyst for Merrill Lynch who symbolized, more than anyone else, the corrupt relationship between Wall Street analysts and the companies they covered during the dot-com boom years -- and got himself banned from the securities industry for life for his efforts. How he reinvented himself as a China expert for Slate, I still don't fully understand.
But now comes an even bigger disgrace, Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York and high-end prostitute patron. He has some thoughts to share on the the financial bailout. For the most part, I agree with him -- a Wall Street built from smaller companies could be more competitive on the world stage, and simply shoveling billions at existing mega-corporations to maintain the status quo doesn't seem like a forward-thinking policy.
But fundamentally, I'm just flat-out impressed. What do you have to do in this country to absolutely, completely, ruin your long-term income-generating potential? Americans are a forgiving bunch.
A side-note: The New York Times humorously points out that, as governor, Spitzer triggered Blodget's fall from grace by publishing "e-mail messages in which Mr. Blodget disparaged stocks he had positively assessed in public."