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Spitzer: Reforms Needed to Corral Wall St.

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who crusaded against Wall Street greed before a prostitution scandal forced him to resign from office, said the system that led to last year's economic disaster hasn't been changed and that President Obama needs to push for a larger reform effort.

Maggie Rodriguez, co-anchor of CBS' "The Early Show," interviewed Spitzer on the one-year anniversary of investment banking giant Lehman Brothers' declaration of bankruptcy. Mr. Obama gave a speech Monday afternoon from Federal Hall near the New York Stock Exchange calling on Congress to pass more financial regulatory reforms.

Spitzer gave a blunt assessment of the financial system one year after the collapse of Lehman.

"We are not doing well," Spitzer said. "We have not reformed the system. We still have a system based upon institutions that are too big to fail, institutions that have received billions - indeed one could argue trillions - of taxpayer dollars and are not investing that money back this to the system to create jobs for the future."

While Spitzer acknowledged that the Obama administration was doing everything it could, he criticized the various regulatory agencies tasked with overseeing Wall Street.

"We have a regulatory system that is utterly in disarray," Spitzer said. "They're squabbling among themselves over power, and yet these are the very institutions often with the same people in charge who failed us before."

However, the former governor and once state attorney general who was called "the sheriff of Wall Street" said the government initially reacted well to the financial crisis.

"Those in positions of authority did what they needed to do, which was to put an enormous amount of money into the system," Spitzer said. "But as I've said repeatedly, that was easy part. The easy part was printing money, taking taxpayer money and giving it to institutions, institutions that had failed terribly."

Spitzer also talked about his personal and political life after resigning from office. His successor, Gov. David Paterson, heads into an early election season with low approval ratings, causing some to question whether Spitzer will return to politics.

"I've said I'm not getting back into politics," Spitzer said. "There are many ways in this life to contribute, many ways to be part of a community, to participate whether it is teaching, which is what I'm doing now. I'm thrilled."

Spitzer is teaching a class at the City College of New York. He also writes a column for the online magazine Slate.

As for his personal life, Spitzer said he's "learned a sense of caring again" thanks to support from his wife and daughters.

"I am fortunate to have an angel for a wife who has been spectacular and three daughters likewise who are wonderful and the center of our lives," Spitzer said. "What more can one ask for?"