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Feds And State In N.Y. Forgo Turf Wars To Go After Financial Crimes

Egos and elbows are taking a backseat to an unusual level of cooperation between the New York Atty. General’s Office  and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo

Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo/state photo

U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia/official photo

U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia/official photo

By Benjamin Weiser and Ben White
New York Times
NEW YORK— On Sept. 25, as the world financial crisis escalated, two of New York’s most powerful lawyers met for lunch in a restaurant near Wall Street with a name that recalled happier times: Bull Run.
They were Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan, and Andrew M. Cuomo, the state attorney general. Both men’s offices have histories of moving aggressively against financial fraud, and of vigorously defending their turf when other prosecutors try to compete for their cases.
But over lunch, Mr. Garcia and Mr. Cuomo reached an unusual agreement: to investigate jointly the shadowy world of credit-default swaps, the $55 trillion market in unregulated financial instruments at the center of the meltdown. Soon, both men’s top aides were hammering out details of the cooperation in an eighth floor conference room in Mr. Garcia’s office in Lower Manhattan.
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