NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking his first crack at Wall Street, showing the difficulty banks face as they try to negotiate a broad settlement over mortgage-related issues.
|New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman|
Schneiderman predecessors as New York attorney general, Elliott Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo, showed that being tough on Wall Street can be an effective way to earn credibility and name recognition, while jumpstarting a political career.
"Eric is just making his name; if you look at the polls, the banks are probably in last place of any industry and people were very suspicious of the bailout and suspicious of the activities of the banks," says George Arzt, a New York political consultant who has provided some support to Schneiderman in the past. "This is a very good move for any investigatory agency that has to get elected."Schneiderman, a former State Senator, does not fit the mold of his predecessors, being more interested in issues of social justice than bringing in a big trophy in the form of a Wall Street boss. "Many of your contemporary social justice issues can only be expressed or realized through legislation. Its not that easy to enforce your preferences for--whether its same sex marriage or affirmative action--through litigation, because courts have become increasingly conservative about the ability of a judiciary to impose social values," says John Coffee, professor at Columbia University law school. As a result, Schneiderman cannot afford to take his eye off the ball in his current role, Coffee says. "It's important for him to show that he's carrying on the momentum established by Spitzer and Cuomo and that he is going to be a successor to them rather than a quiet passive figure only interested in social justice," Coffee says. That could be a problem for banks, which, according to The New York Times' report, are trying to reach broad blanket settlement with all major U.S. regulators over mortgage-related issues, including attorneys general in all 50 states. While regulators have shown some coordination with regard to foreclosure issues, especially robosigning, that is a long way from suggesting they could agree to a broad settlement on all mortgage matters, especially as new ones could come to light. "There is broad disagreement among the attorneys general with regard to approaches to what has happened here in the mortgage space," says Gary Townsend, portfolio manager at Hill-Townsend Capital. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV