tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 3, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
so the guy who doesn't like earmarks gives huge earmarks to koch industries who paid him to get elected in the first place. that's how it works. "viewpoint." >> good evening, i'm eliot spitzer. this is "viewpoint." a year ago last january barclays bank ceo robert diamond told the british house of commons and i quote "there was a period of remorse and apology for banks. i think that period is over." really? for mr. diamond and other bankers caught up in a massive interest rate scandal, that period may have only just begun! diamond resigns today from barclays where he has served hz ceo for the past 17 months. the bank has already agreed to pay a $453 million fine to u.s. and british regulators over accusations that manipulated a benchmark interest rate liner.
what's liner and what does it mean to you? in the words of cftc commissioner bart chilton and i quote "it's the world benchmark for interest rate consumers pay." if libber moves it affects loans and other activities including credit cards and home loans. barclays manipulated libor and to deceive the public about its overall health during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. also stepping down today barclays chief operating officer del missier after the bank released documents saying that del missier ordered traders to lie about libor. supposed i he did that after paul tucker gave diamond permission to rig the rate to ease fears the bank might fail. while tucker has denied the charge british regulators say the conversation did happen and that a "misunderstanding or miscommunication" occurred. other banks have been implicated
as well. ubs settled with the u.s. justice department a year ago receiving conditional immunity. the royal bank of scotland paid a $233 million fine last month and banks including citi bank, jpmorgan chase hsbc and deutsche bank face increasing scrutiny as their alleged co-conspirators began to face off. all of this is coming at an awkward time for the banking industry's best friend in the race for the white house, mitt romney. diamond has withdrawn as cohost of a romney fund-raiser scheduled to be held in london where each of the guests have been asked to contribute between $25,000 and $75,000. romney may be asked to explain the $50,000 he earned from barclays appearance last year. an article in "vanity fair" lays out just how little we know about romney's wealth suggesting much of it may be tied up in tax shelter, overseas accounts. for more on this latest giant banking scandal delighted to be joined by rolling stone contributing editor matt taibbi following the story from the start including his latest blog
post entitled why is nobody freaking out about the libor banking scandal and by dennis kelleher president and ceo of better markets that promotes the public interest in the united states. thank you both. the wizards of the public markets joining us tonight. matt, you have said, we should be outraged, screaming going nuts over this. this is the megascandal of megascandals. why and why are you so outraged? >> libor is like the sun at the center of the financial universe. if they're monkeying around with libor. i talked with one friend who works on wall street. this is like finding out the whole world is built on quicksand because libor is in mortgages, it is in credit cards, it is in all kinds of investments tied up with municipalities and communities. so if they play with this rate, it affects everything in the world. this goes far beyond any corruption scandal. >> give us a quick overview. explain it to folks who -- libor
is like a foreign language. we see a credit card rate on the statement we get. what is libber. what have they been doing? >> it is the rate at which banks charge each other to lend to each other. so it is essentially every morning, a committee calls up each of the 16 banks in its committee and ask them how much they've been charging each other to borrow. and they report a number and what they've been doing is lying about how much they've been charging. they've been giving lower numbers or sometimes higher. they've been tweaking it in both direction. essentially, they've been faking the credit scores. >> i'm going to come back to the mechanics. it is important in terms of how many other people almost necessarily were involved. it can't be one bank doing it. the import of this is as you just said, every interest rate in the world comes back to libor. you putz around with libor you're affecting hundreds of trillions of dollars every day.
dennis, matt is -- i jump out of my skin. people know when i'm upset. for matt this is exuberant. dennis do you share the sense of outrage? this is corruption based on corruption, based on corruption? >> if anything, it is an understatement eliot. >> i'm not prone to understatements. explain to me why that is. >> you know, nobody should be surprised we have yet another corruption scandal being done by one of these global too big to fail banks. this is their business model. they are based on and have been based on for a long time of making as much money as quickly as possible in any way that we we cannot get caught. they were deregulated in the early 2000s it wasn't just that the regulators walked off the beat. they were given the green light that there were basically no rules that applied to them and they could do whatever they want and took about seven years. they caused the biggest financial crisis since the crash of 1929 and gave us the worst economy since the great depression. the same people who did that,
the same executives, the same business model that crashed the entire financial system in l.a. are still running these banks. you know, diamond didn't just get to barclays. he was there throughout the runoff in the good times. we're facing this scandal now. there's going to be more to the extent that anybody keeps looking because the entire business model is corrupt and rotten to its core. >> dennis, i just want to -- for folks who don't know who you are and your resume, you were one of the senior -- you were a partner at one of the biggest law firms in the world that represented these guys. i don't want to say that with anything other than praise. you have worked with them. you've seen them. you understand them. you're not some crazy guy off the street to spew venom at them. you have worked with them and understand their thinking, their businessespractices because you gave an indictment of what has been wrong with the failure to impose any accountability. virtually nobody has been chased out of the business despite the massive, unbelievably expansive
corruption we've seen month after month. matt, i want to come back to you. you said something critically important. the number 16. 16 banks get together to create and set libor. one stray outlier wouldn't shift it. they take the top four, the bottom four, toss them out. a lot of people have to be involved. >> every morning, the british bankers association calls up all 16 of the banks to ask them for a number to report a number. they throw out the four highest numbers and the four lowest numbers so that means necessarily that it can't just be barclays and the royal bank of scotland. it can't even be four banks or five banks. really in the tend is probably going to come out it will be all of them were involved in this. that's what's critical for people to understand. this is a cartel-style corruption, not just one barclays. >> you've written recent bily about a mob behavior infiltrated wall street. i'm going to disagree. i think the mob learned from wall street. not vice versa.
i think the mob looked at the business practices whether it is rock fellner the oil trust and said cartels are good. they're better than hitting people over the head with a baseball -- your metaphor -- dennis, do you agree with matt this has to be expansive. it is a cartel. it runs certainly beyond barclays, the three we with know of having reached agreements so far. >> history has proved that it is not that common that it is a one off example where a bank goes crazy and does something by itself to essentially take advantage of or manipulate or ripoff its peers. we saw this in the foreign exchange market where they were manipulating what they were charging their customers. it is an important lesson that gets spread out over many months. it wasn't a crisis that reached a crescendo like this. in that market, even black rock, it was reported got ripped off quite significantly and black rock is one of the most sophisticated investors in the world. and if black rock can get ripped
off in the foreign exchange market as was reported, anybody can. that's the -- the problem with this, it goes back to the court. i tell people this isn't a scandal about libor. this is a scandal about the business model of these banks which is lie more. lie. lie more. >> i like that. >> they'll do and say anything. bob diamond at the head of barclays as you said at the top of the story eliot, that it is time to stop looking at the banks. we need to move on. remorse is over. no investigation, nothing to see here. he sounds exactly like another diamond, the diamond in the u.s. jamie diamond saying the same thing. >> more later in the show. you're exactly right. >> these guys are trying to say don't look into us. we didn't do anything wrong. it is like move on, move on, move on. if anybody stops for a moment and seriously investigates what these banks did and the run up to the crisis and after the crisis, we'll see this day after day after day because corruption is at the core. lie more is what they've done. lie more is what they do.
nobody wants to do that. >> hopefully we'll change that. matt you said something at the top, you've said this in your blog postings, the public isn't outraged. we're following tom cruise's divorce rather than something that is perhaps at the centerpiece of a biggest corruption on wall street. sociology crisis. why is that? >> libor is incredibly complicated. it is difficult to explain to people. >> you did a great job. i didn't understand it before. >> it takes more than ten seconds. that's one problem but i think it is tough for people to wrap their head around the scale of this thing. this is way bigger than any corruption scandal that's come out since 2008. this is -- the implications of this are so awesome people are reluctant to take it in yet. >> i think there's also a reality libor is one level below what people deal with. they know about libor base borrowing but i think for most folks, they don't see it as a day to day part of their lives
the way they see the other scabs. >> eliot? >> yes sir. >> i was just going to say matt has done fabulous reporting if anybody wants to know -- stay on top of what's going on, read matt. he asked the exact right question is which is why is nobody freaking out about the libor banking scandal. the answer to that -- they're finance and trading companies let's call them what they are. they're not really banks. they hide behind the label banks. the corruption behind their business model has pervaded the political arena as well. the reason nobody's freaking out is because unlike in the u.k. where there actually is an opposition party who's actually causing a ruckus and surprisingly, the press matt talks about this, too the press has really turned up the heat. you'll notice the crazy leftist socialist rag called "the financial times" last friday said that what we probably need is to wipe out this entire generation of so-called banking
leaders who apparently have no ethics or integrity. now i'm not talking about all banks or all financial institutions. this is the biggest two big to fail banks. >> i'm going to interrupt. first, a quick note for all of our listeners. you're being sarcastic. it is one of the best newspapers and one of the most conservative newspapers because what you said, you accurately quoted them. it is more remarkable. quick question for you, dennis. mitt romney is a product of that entire world. the fund-raiser that was going to be in london. we're finding out more in the "vanity fair" piece about his offshore finances? what should we do about that? >> we do not. nobody should be able to be a candidate or frankly god forbid actually get elected to the presidency of the united states where the people of the united states have absolutely no idea what his or her financial interests are. we see what happens when we do know. they're the former chairman of goldman sachs the secretary of the treasury in the fall of '08 there were all sorts of actions taken by the u.s. government
that advantaged goldman sachs. did they do that properly? we still don't know. but i can tell you this. at least we knew he was the former chairman of goldman sachs. we don't have any idea where the financial interests lie of this presidential candidate and that just shouldn't be allowed. the american press ought to be screaming bloody murder over that and the rest of the things that are still not known to the american people. they ought to look overseas and take a lesson. >> i wish we had more time. matt and dennis, you're right. read matt's column. you went into that. the meeting that lloyd had with his whole board of goldman in a hotel room in russia in moscow during the crisis in '08. his multiple meetings with paulsen. conversations we need to know more about. it is above reapproach even though the corruption runs so deep. you guys have been right on the money in analyzing this and critiquing this. we'll be back talking about this more and more. if the public is not outraged
yet, hopefully we will be. matt taibbi, dennis kelleher, great to have you both on the program tonight. >> thanks, eliot. >> my pleasure. >> the supreme court may understand obama care but does the public understand the supreme court? that's coming up. >>we talk a lot about the influence of money in politics. it is the defining issue of this era. the candidate with the most money, does win.
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the day. 34. that's the percentage of residents in mississippi who qualified as obese in 2010. at the same time u.s. members of congress from mississippi mostly opposed the affordable care act. so legislators from alabama south carolina, kentucky according to the study by jeffrey frankel of harvard's kennedy school of government. these are also among america's most obese states. we can't assume too much cause and effect here however because some healthy states like utah also voted against the program. and some overweight ones like west virginia supported it. but bizarrely many states that oppose the plan have the most to gain from it. under the new law insurance companies will have to cover pre-existing conditions such as obesity and all of the other health problems that result from it. maybe we're wrong thinking people vote in their own self-interest. maybe that's outweighed by the fear of change.
this week, failing is good and wall street is bad. what else does vc billionaire vinod khosla think? if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> five days ago, the affordable care act was upheld by a sharply divided supreme court in historic and surprising ruling that in addition to raising enormous constitutional questions for the future will significantly impact the life of every american. but even with all of the attention the media gave the ruling, the public remains confused. and not just those who are watching cnn. according to a new poll released by the pew research center, only 55% of respondents were able to correctly answer that the supreme court upheld the majority of the law. 15% thought the court had rejected most of the provisions. a slightly higher number correctly answered in a poll from the kaiser foundation with
59% aware the law was upheld. joining knee mow is jerrold nadler congressman from the eighth district, one of the few and important voices of reason from our nation's capitol. thank you for coming in. >> thank you for the kind words. >> deserved and earned over many years fighting for justice in the capitol. let's begin with this supreme court opinion. i have said -- in a way it was a trojan horse. yes, we got the statute but embedded in it are constitutional changes. commerce claws first what do you think this means going forward in your capacity as a legislator to enact good legislation? >> i'm somewhat less concerned about the commerce clause. they established a brand new distinction that says congress cannot legislate inactivity as opposed to activity. you cannot tell someone you have to get into commerce and then regulate the commerce. this is unprecedented. on the other hand, i'm not sure that you're going to see very
many statutes that regulate so-called inactivity. >> the bizarre thing though of course is that before the decision we didn't accept the premise that this was inactivity. in other words -- >> that's true. we don't -- we don't accept that this is inactivity because we say in commerce anyway because you're going to use healthcare at some point. nonetheless, i'm not so sure that it will be very easy to make the case that anything else we regulate is "inactivity" but this could be the jumping off point for further restrictions and that remains to be seen so it is worrisome. >> so folks sort of can understand the larger arc of our constitutional jurisprudence basically from the new deal until now the capacity -- your capacity as congress to legislate and regulate -- >> i wouldn't say unlimited -- >> unchecked by courts by in large. >> yes. all of the major laws we take for granted social security,
medicare, minimum wage laws, maximum hour laws. >> clean air act. >> clean air act prior to 1937 would have been declared unconstitutional as beyond the power of congress. minimum wage laws were declared unconstitutional. the court changed in the late '30s, early '40s and has regulated interstate commerce to provide for the common defense and to tax for the wealthier -- for the common welfare. and so the federal government has been able to do all of these things we take for granted. if the court says you can't do that under interstate commerce, then the federal government is going to have real limitations. >> 50 years from now folks may look back and say this was a turning point equally important to what happens in the new deal. >> the conservatives the right-wingers -- i wouldn't say conservative but the right wing has been saying for a long time and talking about the constitution in exile the last 70 years of the constitutional law are wrong. we have to go back to the way it was before 1937 and depending
who's elected president and therefore future supreme court appointments, you could look at the decision in the future and say this is where you started going backwards. >> i took you down the detour. you were about to say another part of the decision may be more important. the medicaid part. >> the medicaid part was much more important and much more worrisome. congress can spend money. it is one of the enumerated powers. it has been assumed if we give you money we give the state money, the city money, we can append any conditions we want. when i say congress, federal government and the president. for instance we give highway money and we say in order to get highway money, you have to agree not to have a speed limit higher than 65 and have drunk driving laws and not to allow billboards bigger than 45 feet. >> the example was the standard for drunk driving was lowered to .08. >> that's right. it has been assumed congress can do anything it wants along those lines so when we passed medicaid
in 1965, medicaid is a federal state program. we say you must provide this and you may provide that. and you don't have to provide the other thing. no one questioned that. suddenly, we say okay. now we say all right we're going to -- require that under medicaid, if you take medicaid money, you don't have to. if you take medicaid money you must provide medicaid for people up to 33% of poverty and we'll pay for 90% of the cost of the new people. >> 100% for three years and then 90% after that. >> for the new people. court held that was coercive because the fact that if you didn't do that, we would take away all of the medicaid money meant that we were coercing the states unconstitutionally. this puts a real limitation on the spending power and how far that will go in the future. >> even though roberts gave us the result we -- as ordinary, plain, normal-thinking people, he has embedded dangerous things for the future. >> very dangerous things for the future. let's assume for example if you
take federal money in certain things you can't discriminate on the basis of creed. what if we add sexual orientation. it is a new thing or let's assume congress says if you're building a state highway, you have to have three inches of asphalt. and we decide to say no, given the modern technology, should be 4. maybe we can't do that anymore. >> has roberts insulated himself to attacks that he's a partisan voice because he voted with the president superficially on this so that next term when affirmative action is there, he will swing back. >> he certainly has to a practical extent, yes. when next year, the voting rights act may be thrown out. we hope not. a lot of things are up. yeah he's provided himself with some armor. >> he's going to have to establish his street cred. let me switch gears.
the vote to hold attorney general holder in contempt. was this bad ugly political theatre? >> yes, for a number of reasons. number one this whole thing was a witch hunt. no one defends the fast and furious thing. no one will do it again. no one says it was a good idea. the only thing they're trying to do here is to say that when people knew about it, so you can blame them. it is only a political thing. more to the point they held holder in contempt for not turning over certain documents although he turned over thousands. the president claimed executive privilege. whether he was right is for the courts and will be determined by the courts. how do you hold someone in contempt for going along with the president. go to court and say the president was wrong and claim executive privileges. not to hold someone else in contempt. >> congressman issa is acting out. i didn't say i was wrong i'm just going to blame you. >> this reminds me about the impeople of president clinton.
an abuse of power. >> we all hope it doesn't work politically. congressman jerrod nadler, thank you. >> thank you. >> herman cain talks about arming sheep. the viewfinder is next. are you in good hands? [ voice of dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good now it's guaranteed. [ normal voice ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. are you in good hands?
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>> coming up glaxosmithkline is finally paying the price for its fraudulent practices. will it be enough to make them change. but first a weather forecast that's worse than you thought. a channel dedicated to herman cain and an appearance by current tv's very own cenk uygur when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> hello. i'm herman cain. they think we are stupid. >> here's the forecast. volcano, 350 for monday. global super storm on tuesday. we could see maybe about 100 200 inches of rainfall. >> a number of people who die in the heat waves are elderly and there have been 15 deaths associated with these storms in the east. all right coming up, some
bizarre and i mean bizarre details emerging about tom cruise and katie holmes' marriage after the announcement they're getting divorced. >> i'm talking about practices. i'm talking about practices. >> what are we talking about? what are we talking about? >> i'm talking about practices. >> we're talking about practice, man. >> we in here talking about practice. i'm here. listen. we're talking about practice. >> i'm herman cain. >> what else is happening in the world? >> so much in the world. >> in my college they used to snort a no-no dose. >> i don't think that was just your college. >> i loved it. >> liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. let's give a lamb a gun! >> it is confusing. >> i think we're missing part of the story. >> it seems to me like the president measures success by how many people are on food
stamp rolls and government-run healthcare, that's not the american dream. >> he does not want you to have self-esteem. to have that title of american. he would rather you be his slave. >> why are people so set on staying on the same road that's been messing us up for so long? >> well, op, people are funny. sometimes change scares them and they would keep doing the same old thing than change is the thing that could help them.
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clinical data it showed increased suicidal thoughts and said it was effective for weight loss when they this only been approved for dysfunction. katie thomas wrote about this on today's front page and dr. sidney wolfe. thank you both for your time this evening. katie, let me begin with you. quickly, tell us what did they do that evoked this rather massive complaint against them? >> well, there's a lot of stuff in here. but some of the main portions are about these anti-depressant drugs paxil and wellbutrin and also about the diabetes drug avandia. what the prosecutors allege is that they market it, as you said just know, they marketed it for several different uses, everything from sexual dysfunction to weight loss, some of the drugses and that they supplied doctors with gifts and
trips to jamaica and bermuda and to try to entice them to prescribe it. >> also suppressing the data that the downside, the risks of the prescription purposes were significant and dangerous. >> yeah. specifically with the drug paxil. what the prosecutors say is that they did clinical trials of paxil and looked at the use of the drug in adolescents and it didn't show good results and in fact, it showed -- it showed some signs that it actually was bad. it created suicidal thinking and yet they promoted it. >> will there be a next chapter? can glaxo say we paid our $3 billion and we cooperated and on to the next. >> they say they've changed their practices. they've instituted a whole list of policies that prevent them -- this kind of activity from happening again. >> they always say that when they sign the agreement. the companies say we reform, never again. of course it always happens
again. dr. wolfe, this is a window into a significant issue in the pharmaceutical world. how pervasive do you think it is the so-called offlabel prescription encouragement is out there and big pharma is telling docs to prescribe medications for things that may not either work or may have big risks? >> well, i think the problem is that there are a number of very good drugs many of them are old, many of them are off patent generically available used for treating diseases. it is harder for the drug companies to bring new drugs to market so they pretend that the old drugs that are already on the market can now suddenly be used to treat disease. an offlabel promotion sounds benign. what it means is there's no evidence that the benefits of the drug for that particular disease outweigh the risks. that's why it is a criminal violation. similarly, advertising products for things for which they don't work or don't have safety information is dangerous. one of the things we haven't discussed so far though is that
glaxo withheld for several years, important data about the dangers of avandia the widely used diabetes drug, and that, again, is a criminal violation. but i think the answer to your question is they don't learn. whereas it is an old saw that crime doesn't pay. i think the evidence -- we've done a study looking at 20 years of criminal and civil violations by the drug companies. crime does pay because these companies over and over again are getting caught, paying criminal penalties civil penalties saying, as you just did, we're different now and then a few years later they get caught again. they're making more money off of selling the drugs than they're paying penalties and none of the people from the large drug companies has ever gone to jail. we're currently suing the department of health and human services because they don't want to reveal publicly the agreement they have with pfizer. when pfizer was caught in 2004 with a $400 million fine for criminal civil activities, they
signed an agreement called a corporate integrity agreement. we can't get the results of what happened in the agreement. we know they were violating the law while they were under the agreement. the government and the company in lock step doesn't want us to see that. so it is a big problem. it is a continuing problem and until the fines are much, much larger, until people start going to jail when they should, when they are responsible for it, it is going to keep going. >> look, dr. wolfe you raised two hugely important issues the remedies and business model pharma generating new medications that will confront the diseases as opposed to remarketing all diseases. katie, you raised, in your article today, the issue of do these remedies work. when ask you the pharmaceutical executives themselves sort of the calculus dr. wolfe laid out you paid $3 billion but you made $10 billion in profits your acoming out ahead. this is still a per anniversaryive inventive structure. how do they respond to you? >> they say that's all in the
past. one of the things that people did say was a little bit different about this settlement in particular. even people who are critics. was that the corporate integrity agreement which as dr. wolfe pointed out is very common in these cases does have what they call claw backs. going forward, any of these executives, if they are found to have engaged in any of these practices, could have their bonuses held back. so some people said -- >> i'll play my pointed role. being the harsh skeptic. i'm with dr. wolfe. we made a case against glaxo on paxil in '04. so i'm skeptical. recidivism is the word of the day on wall street. everybody there is a multiple offender. dr. wolfe, do you buy that a clawback of a bonus will be sufficient or do we need to begin to send some executives to jail? handcuffs may be the only remedy that actually changes behavior. >> i think that the clawback is
certainly different. i don't trust that it actually will happen because the evidence that these companies are obeying the terms of the corporate integrity agreement are being withheld. the companies have convinced the government that the only way we're going to cooperate is if all of the results are reports that go to you to show whether or not we're complying. they're all kept secret. i don't trust the process. the companies are making too much money to stop doing it. as long as no one goes to jail, one of the things we've also asked for the corporate integrity agreement for is oxycontin. everyone knows it is widely used overpromoted, dangerous killing narcotic. three of the executives there are paid out of their own pocket a few million dollars none of them went to jail. they clearly had done things any normal citizen would say why aren't they going to jail? because they just paid their way out of it. >> yep. let me interrupt for one second. katie, let me ask you a question. i think dr. wolfe raises many important issues there.
but one of them -- one that i continue to wonder about is the business model of big pharma. is a company like glaxo -- does it have anything in the pipeline that will replace a paxil and is that why they're desperate to maximize the profits from these pills? >> well this has been an issue across the pharmaceutical company industry. we have all of these huge blockbuster drugs that are now kind of reaching what they call the patent cliff when they lose their exclusivity. yeah there has been in many of these cases you know, difficulty kind of replacing some of these huge drugs and right, so they -- these companies do want to try to squeeze as much as they can. >> the pressure for offlabel marketing is enormous. the other thing dr. wolfe we'll have to continue this conversation is to have complete transparency about clinical testing data so it makes it harder to offlabel because then
everybody would know what the risks would be. director of public citizen health research group dr. sidney wolfe, "new york times" reporter katie, thank you for your time. >> nice talking with you again. >> glaxo has faced some measure of justice. some people seem to be immune. author glenn greenwald comes by to talk about that coming up.
>> coming up, the crises keeps piling up at jpmorgan chase. my view, come clean already! but first, let's check in with jennifer granholm in the war room. good evening governor. what have you got for us tonight? >> well, eliot it amazes me that after running for president for nearly eight years, there are so many unanswered questions about mitt romney's time at bain and about his financial history so tonight in "the war room," we're going to get answers. we've got nick baumann from "mother jones" magazine, his publication has been breaking news all week on his role with bain and we'll speak with ed kleinbard, an expert on offshore
tax havens. if you want to get to the bottom of mitt romney's finances, you need an expert like that. we're going to get to the bottom of it at the top of the hour. >> sounds great. i think everybody should have an offshore account and at at least three swiss bank accounts. >> you may need one. >> i used to try to serve subpoenas on him. bizarre thing. we had a client, we couldn't get a single document or word out of the swiss bankers. >> i'm sayin'! it is the -- the swiss vault is not kidding. >> more "viewpoint" coming up. next, we'll be watching your show jennifer. it will be great. >> thanks, eliot. our conversation is with you the viewer because we're independent. >>here's how you can connect with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the
easy answers. >> between barclays, libor scam, glaxo's $3 billion settlement and one story we haven't yet covered today allegations that jpmorgan chase sold its own inferior mutual funds over better products, today's headlines just beg for outrage. until recently, jamie diamond was the good guy banker. his bank was so well-managed, we were told and he just oozed charm. but suddenly, there are three serious scandals looming and as they say three strikes and you're out! first, chase may be at the fulcrum of the libor scandal something we just talked about with the always fascinating matt taibbi and dennis kelleher. it might be the biggest of them all. libor rates sit at the foundation of the $800 trillion debt market. simply put, this is huge. second, chase is now accused by its own brokers of selling its home-grown mutual fund products to investors as opposed to those
of other companies even if they knew the other products were better. why? of course. chase would make more money on the fees and the commissions with its own products. if true, this would be a straight forward violation of fiduciary duty. something we call fraud. finally, of course, the london derivatives trade that diamond dismissed as a tempest in the teapot ballooned to $2 billion in losses and now may be $9 billion. diamond is alleged to have been in direct contact with the very brokers who handled the high-risk trades. if he was, what did he ask? what was he told? and when? and what follow-up did he, as a manager, demand? simply, did he know more than has been presented to us? of course, diamond still refuses to admit that sitting on the board of the new york fed his own regulator is a conflict. so what to do? there's actually an easy answer. chase is a regulated entity. we as tax payers who bailed it out, deserve to know what it's up to. after a string of series
allegations like this. congress should demand that diamond waive the company's privilege, the cloak of silence that shielded it from scrutiny. let us see what the internal e-mails and communication show. give diamond and the bank two weeks to gather information about each of the scandals and let them be aired in public. why not? are they protecting people? are they covering up? are they hoping the public attention slips and nobody asks a follow-up? it is about time they make a prompt, full and public disclosure about each of these issues. not just a congressional show hearing with no follow-up questions. a genuine airing of the documents and facts. the reputation of chase and diamond and our government hang in the balance. that's my view.
a lot of people think that, when crossing the delaware, washington got on his boat and went across. that's not true. here's what really happened. it was a crazy, cold day out. we had to cross the delaware river and it was frozen. you know how glaring, "i can't see a thing!" one fault move would lead to certain doom, or worse, newark. and then my man servant, hippy goes "sir, take these!" there's no way you could afford such fashionable sunglasses on a man servant salary. did you steal those from ben franklin? "i bought them from a tinker named foster grant." i put them on and i could see. hessian die! and i whooped those hessian fools in style. who's behind those foster grants? george stinkin' washington that's who.
hey joe, can you talk? sure. your hair -- amazing. thanks to head and shoulders for men. four shampoos that give men game-winning scalp protection, great looking hair... and confidence [ male announcer ] up to 100% flake free with head & shoulders for men. what makes hershey's s'mores special? pure chocolate goodness that brings people together. hershey's makes it a s'more... you make it special. pure hershey's. >> a thematic run throughout tonight's show is the failure of our judicial system to hold accountable people in position of power from those on wall street to big pharma. glenn greenwald in its latest
book "with liberty and justice for some" details how our polluteocracy has managed to rise above the law. the bedrock of our democracy equality under the law has incrementally been sabotaged by political and financial elite that shields itself from accountability. joining me now is glenn greenwald, a contributing righter at salon.com. his book "with liberty and justice for some" is out in paperback. thanks for coming in. >> thank you. >> we're no longer a nation of one rule of law but really two populations, one oblivious to the law and the other subject to it. when did this begin and why? >> i would say just you know that it is not so much that one is subject and one isn't. they're in different universes. you have the elite who have committed some of the most egregious crimes imaginable, torture, spying on americans massive systemic financial fraud. none of which has resulted in any legal accountability and yet at the very same time, the same
class has implemented for everybody else not just a legal system, a system of punishment but the western world's harshest and most oppressive system of punishment. we imprison more of our citizens than any other country in the world. so you have this extreme impunity for a small elite class and the exact opposite world for everybody else. >> i don't want to spend too much time on history but has it always been this? is this a recent phenomenon or was this the case in the 1820s? >> i think if you look at american history obviously if you're extremely wealthy and well-connected, you've had advantages in the legal system. you could afford better counsel more deference from judges. you had ways to get out of the law because of political connections. the difference was though we always affirmed the principle that everybody play by the same set of rules even though we violated and breached it. what has happened, i trace it to the pardon of nixon, we've
created this mindset where we reputiate the role. we have a whole series of arguments now about why if you're sufficiently important or prominent or instrumental from functioning of the country it is better for the country to move beyond your crimes and not hold you accountable. that was the argument that was made to justify the pardon of nixon and when we immunize elites, whether it is the iron contra-- it is the repudiation rather than a violation of it. >> it is too big to apply to individuals. >> are you surprised with president obama who came in certainly with the aura of change a new ethos about the law and equality that there have been some of the transgressions you talk about. wall street torture have been under his watch. does this surprise you? >> it. does if you look at what he was saying during the campaign, the very first speech he gave when he announced his candidacy in the first paragraph of the speech one of the promises was the era of scooter libby justice will be over.
scooter libby justice is if you're politically well-connected, even when you get convicted of multiple counts of perjury you'll have someone intervene and make sure you spend no jail time. not only that but specifically, he was often asked will there be war crimes investigations. he always said nobody's above the law. i'll have my attorney general investigate. ance he got into office, it became clear he was signaling he didn't want any investigations. >> specifically, with respect to the terror -- with the torture inquiries, we want to look forward, not backwards which is exactly opposite to what the rule of law requires. you must look backwards. >> right. you're a prosecutor. i don't think you ever prosecuted anybody without looking backward. >> right. except in the matrix. >> right. the majority report. i think it would be one thing if this grave leniency was available to everybody. if you got stopped by a police officer for speeding and you could say look officer, why don't we look to the future and not the past.
that could work. you could have an argument about whether leniency was a good policy. it was available to a tiny percentage of our citizens. is it such a problem. >> if mitt romney becomes president, will it matter -- specifically with the issue you talk about, this dichotomy law imposed on different classes of people. or will it not matter because they're both part of the same plu tock racy. >> there is an amazing article when it became clear that obama was telling everybody he didn't want prosecutions. what it said was the reason this happens is because there is a gentlemen agreement between the parties and the president once a president gets into office, he doesn't investigate anything that happened before him and guarantees he will never be investigated. it is a license of lawlessness. romney will continue it because he will ultimately benefit from it as well. >> the logic is if you're in that class the benefits disrupting the system is to self-interest. it happens to be continent with
one's pledge to uphold the law but of course that gives way. what are the most egregious examples you've seen in the past 10 20 years? >> we talk a lot about torture. i think the most egregious crime in the bush years was the spying on american people without the warrants required because you read the statute. anyone who -- >> not pfizer the pharmaceutical. >> the special court. >> you can really read that law. it does say that anybody who spies on the american people without complying with the statute is committing a penalty punishable by five years in prison for each offense. they did that in thousands of cases. >> all right. glenn greenwald his book "with liberty and justice for some" it is now in paperback. >> much more relaxing. >> we're going to do it anyway. that's "viewpoint" for tonight. stay tuned to enter "the war room" right here