Jack Bogle, the founder and longtime chairman of the Vanguard Group, the country's second-largest mutual fund company, has lauded New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for his work in bringing order and justice to the American financial markets.
Bogle writes in a Time magazine profile of the 45-year-old attorney general entitled the "Top 100 Heroes & Icons," "whether or not you like Spitzer's crusading, he has taken on a series of battles against powerful interests, won landmark victories for consumers, and become a national icon along the way."
Spitzer first extracted fines of up to $1.4 billion in 2002 from Wall Street analysts who were publishing self-serving research reports on stocks they personally thought were junk. Then, in 2003, Spitzer took on the mutual fund industry, where he unearthed shady trading practices, and from which he got $3 billion in fines.
Last year, Spitzer, who plans to run for New York Governor in 2006, placed his microscope on the insurance industry, which, he found, was rife with corrupt practices such as bid rigging.
"If Spitzer gets his way--and surely he will--fiduciary duty will once again eclipse "It's O.K. because everybody else is doing it" as the ethical standard of Wall Street, mutual funds, insurance and, as we will no doubt learn as this year rolls on, other financial industries yet to come," writes Bogle.