clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why Henry Blodget isn’t angry at the man who ruined his life

Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer cost Blodget millions of dollars, but “life is long,” the Business Insider CEO says.

Courtesy Business Insider

Back in 2002, Henry Blodget was a star analyst at Merrill Lynch — until New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer investigated Blodget and other analysts for hyping tech stocks in public to win business, while trashing those same stocks in private.

This investigation caused Blodget to be “dishonorably discharged” from Wall Street, he recalled on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, and back to the field where he had started, journalism. But, years later, when his nemesis Spitzer was caught in a prostitution scandal and had to resign as governor of New York, the Business Insider CEO didn’t celebrate.

“I had already moved on to what I would describe as the next phase of an interesting relationship with Eliot Spitzer,” Blodget said.

“He had come and talked to Slate, where I was working at the time,” he added. “I met him in the food line at the buffet, at Slate, when he was running for governor. And I said, ‘Hi! You wrecked my life.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, that’s my job!’ and I said, ‘Well, okay! But you wrecked my life!’”

By the time of Spitzer’s resignation, in 2008, Blodget had started the site that would become Business Insider — then called Silicon Alley Insider — and had had some time to accept that Spitzer’s investigation “wasn’t personal.” Blodget also realized in hindsight that he and Spitzer weren’t so different, both falling from grace in public scandals.

“We’ve actually had some experiences in life where we can relate to each other,” Blodget said. “One of the things somebody said to me, a very wise person, when I was in the middle of what happened to me in 2002, is, ‘Look, I know it seems like your life is over. ... Take a long view. Focus on the long term. Focus all of your energies on that. You’re not going to forget about this, it’s part of you now, but it will seem like a long time ago.’”

Last year, Blodget and Spitzer got lunch together. Spitzer paid.

You can listen to Recode Media in the audio player above, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge's Lauren Goode, answers all of the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, such as the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Peter. Tune in next Thursday for another episode of Recode Media!

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.