Spitzer, driven from office by a prostitution scandal, did not make reference to the episode during the more than hourlong speech Thursday to an audience of about 300 at the Ivy League school. Spitzer, a graduate of Harvard Law School, said only government can enforce integrity and transparency in the markets, and that its failure to do so helped trigger the Wall Street meltdown.
"We didn't need new laws, we just needed regulators to use the power we already had," he said.
Spitzer was introduced by Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig, the faculty director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, which invited the former governor to speak.
"No one doubts what Governor Spitzer did was wrong," said Lessig, referring to the personal behavior that led to Spitzer's resignation.
But Lessig went on to call Spitzer "the most important living prosecutor of a wide range of corruption." Read more.