Saturday, November 5, 2011

Culture Club: Jon Corzine (Not) In The Cross Hairs

Jon Corzine has, inevitably, resigned as CEO of MF Global. For once, he did the right thing:
MF Global Holdings Ltd. has found $659 million in customer accounts it hadn't been able to locate while scrambling to avoid bankruptcy, according to a person familiar with the matter 
The firm, which collapsed Monday amid concerns over exposure to European government debt, was informed in recent days that the funds were in one of its accounts at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the person said. 
The discovery could help shed light on the events leading up to MF Global's sudden failure. Regulators say that around $600 million in customer accounts has been missing, and the discrepancy was one the key reasons MF Global couldn't arrange a sale late last Sunday. 
The news came just hours after the firm's chief executive, Jon Corzine, resigned, in what could be the final chapter in a four-decade career that touched the pinnacles of Wall Street and politics before ending abruptly with the failure of the New York-based MF Global. 
"I feel great sadness for what has transpired at MF Global and the impact it has had on the firm's clients, employees and many others," said a statement from Mr. Corzine, who hired prominent Dechert LLP defense lawyer Andrew Levander this past week.
I would like to express the official Free Will Exasperation over how little Corzine's failures are redounding against his former political allies. I mean, the guy was only Senator and then Governor of New Jersey and  was a top fund raiser for Barak Obama. Sounds like a real culture of corruption, if you are looking for that sort of thing. Remember how every Democrat in the land railed about George Bush's "best friend" Ken Lay? How is it our side - at least those in DC - is not railing against Corzine, who was much more of a public figure than Lay was prior to Enron's collapse?

Meanwhile, Herman Cain - a guy who has dozens of people lining up to testify to his integrity - has just spent the past week fending off sexual harassment accusations that can't even rise to the level of vague and ambiguous. By rights, all those Cain headlines should be Corzine's.

I know the answer, of course. "We don't do that sort of thing." "The public can connect the dots" and "Oh, we'll have some ads when the time comes." I'd say the time is now. This is not just about showcasing corruption and failure. It's to showcase how much is wrong with our alleged elites who demand the perquisites of power and then leave office trailing destruction behind them only to find new arenas to destroy. 

Corzine left behind a giant fiscal hole in New Jersey. It was so bad that Jersey-ites elected a Republican to clean up the  mess . Yet our "blue is true" politics has gotten so lazy that Corzine was able to fail upward into another high profile job. Meanwhile, Gov. Christie is facing a tough re-election campaign because there are many people in his state who would prefer the Corzine method of governing, rather than living in reality. It's not enough to say there's no justice. There's no brains. 

The Jon Corzines of the world - Republican and Democrat - are the ones who have done so much to wreck the US. But they continue to benefit from a blind spot that obscures their failures until it is too late. 

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