News Spitzer Might Resign Met with Cheers on NYSE Floor

     Although the news that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was involved in a prostitution ring was greeted with shock in most circles, Wall Street had a different reaction.


     According to CNBC New York Stock Exchange floor reporter Bob Pisani, the news that Spitzer might resign was greeted with cheers on the floor of the exchange.


     “[A]s reports came over the wires that Mr. Spitzer might resign, he did not, but as reports came over he might resign, there was a cheer up here on the floor,“ Pisani said on CNBC’s March 10 “Closing Bell.” “He is not a popular figure down here on Wall Street.”


     Spitzer earned the title “the Sheriff of Wall Street” for his crusade against Wall Street during his term as New York State Attorney General. Most notably, he went after the investment firm Merrill Lynch, alleging the firm had intentionally misled investors in order to improve its bottom line.


     In 2004, Spitzer sued former NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso, the former chairman of the NYSE, alleging he abused his position as the chairman of the exchange. Grasso had stepped down in 2003 after being asked to step down by the exchange’s board.


     Earlier in the day, Spitzer’s Harvard law school classmate, CNBC’s Jim Cramer had a very glum reaction to the news.


    “Eliot’s one of my oldest friends, so is Silda [Spitzer’s wife],” Cramer said on the March 10 CNBC’s “Street Signs.” “You know, look, I hope it's not true. You know, I read it like you did - I hope it’s not true. And there were no rumblings. Someone earlier said there were rumblings. There’s no rumblings about this. Eliot’s my friend. So he’s my friend, he’ll be my friend after. You know, I just hope it’s not true. If it’s true, it’s obviously very sad. It’s bad.”