Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo walked into the conference room in the governor’s midtown office together, along with a few elected officials, to discuss the state’s strategy for dealing with the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Spitzer said one in five sub-prime mortgage loans in New York State ended in foreclosure, making it a widespread crisis.
Spitzer announced he would push for new state legislation, invest $100 million in a refinancing program for eligible borrowers, invest $2 million in financial education for lenders, and lobby lending institutions to improve their practices.
Spitzer side-stepped criticism from his one-time friend, CNBC financial commenter Jim Cramer, who denounced such actions because they would make it harder for people to get a loan.
A New York Times reporter brought up the fact that Cramer also referred to Cuomo as “a Communist.”
“He said it in a nice way,” Cuomo said.
Citing Cramer again, the reporter said: “He also said he was getting tired of the New York State Attorney General being the most important man in America.”
“I think he mentioned you too, by the way,” Cuomo joked to Spitzer, who obliged by laughing.
“Jim said this? I’ll call him. I’ll straighten him out,” Spitzer responded.
He added, “The feds have failed to act. And in the absence of federal action, we must step in.”