It's Schadenfreude time on Wall Street.
Eliot Spitzer, the New York governor who made his name taking on the titans of finance, apologized yesterday in vague terms following reports that he used the services of a prostitute in a case being investigated by federal prosecutors.
The news stunned traders on Wall Street, where Mr. Spitzer long has been viewed with fear and contempt. Some view the revelations as a huge hypocrisy for a man, who as New York's attorney general, had aggressively pushed for ethics and fair play on Wall Street earlier this decade. People who clashed hardest with Mr. Spitzer are among those crowing the loudest.
"He actually believes he's above the law," said Ken Langone, a former New York Stock Exchange director who now heads a small investment-banking firm. In his role as prosecutor, Mr. Spitzer sued Mr. Langone for his role in doling out the large pay package of former New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso. "I have never had any doubt about his lack of character and integrity -- and he's proven me correct."
Previously on HuffPost....
Eliot Spitzer had made many enemies as governor in his role as the sheriff of Wall Street, and many are thrilled with the news of his involvement with a prostitution ring.
CNBC's "Closing Bell" reported the news was greeted by cheers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange upon the announcement of the news.
The New York Times wrote:
As news that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been linked to a prostitution ring swept Wall Street Monday afternoon, the reaction can be described in one word: schadenfreude.
The cause? Mr. Spitzer, for years the state's attorney general, had served as the scourge of the Street, punishing financial firms for a litany of sins like the Furies of mythology. Armed with the Martin Act, Mr. Spitzer took on investment banks, insurance companies and the New York Stock Exchange for their transgressions, giving other attorneys general a model for assuming the Mr. Clean mantle.
On CNBC, markets reporter Bob Pisani quoted an unnamed trader's reaction, which spoke for the vast majority on Wall Street. "There is a God," the trader was quoted as saying.
As Portfolio puts it:
Somewhere, Dick Grasso is smiling. Somewhere Henry Blodget is kicking up his heels. And somewhere, Ken Langone's meatball hero is a little tastier.