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Eliot Spitzer: A Crusader of Corporate Reform


Code : GOV0011

Year :

Industry : Business Law, Governance and Ethics

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Introduction: Since 1999, NewYork StateAttorney General, Eliot Spitzer has been launching a battery of investigations against several industries startingwith investment banking.His targets include Wall Street firms likeMerrill Lynch,Alliance Capital and Marsh &McClennan. Spitzer has gained popularity among the public for his investigative methodology and emphasis on quick amends and reforms rather than going through protracted legal battles.3 Spitzer’s careful homework and well-crafted strategies have led the media to coin terms like the “Spitzer Effect”, which denotes that one case brought on by Spitzer against a firmeventually changes the rules of the entire industry. Spitzer, who calls himself a guerrilla fighter, says that he is on the side of the “little guy” and wants companies to discontinue any business practice that create conflicts of interest in which their clients or customers are harmed. Spitzer’s methods have raised the ire of existing regulators and certain industry insiders who feel that he oversteps his boundaries and ventures into the jurisdiction of other regulators. They also question his hesitation to indict companies even when there are grounds for criminal charges. Some also opine that his press releases and publicity-gaining behaviour are tools to further his future political aspirations.Meanwhile, Spitzer contends that he moves in only when the respective regulators are not doing their job and argues that there is nothing wrong in being ambitious if one is working hard to succeed.

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