"Jon Corzine And Lloyd Blankfein Could Put On Masks And Start Sticking Up Fruit Stands All Over Lower Manhattan, And Get Away With It Because Of The Difficulty In Prosecuting Crimes Like These"
As a financial outsider, Pierce captures the non-prosecution angst.
Reprinted with permission.
Whoooo-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! The casino's open again, boys!
A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives. After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm's demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case.
Jesus H. Christ on a Galilean seesaw, and they say vaudeville is dead. I realize that the blog is not the go-to source for high-level finance, but I do have one very large question for the gumshoes working this case. We all agree that "about $1 billion" "disappeared," right? Okay, so here's my question: In the course of the disappearance, as the money passed through the chaos and the "porous risk controls" and the financial black hole that is Jon Corzine's integrity, did any of that "about $1 billion" go from where it should have been into the pocket of someone who shouldn't have had it? I mean, if 10 bucks disappears from the till in my local, the people investigating the theft are generally curious as to whether or not it ends up in the bartender's wallet. And, given enough time and dedication, they will find that out.
Criminal investigators can bust the Russian mob. They can break up drug syndicates. They doggedly run 'roided-up pitchers into court. Twice. They beat hell out of Napster. But set them down amid the financial-services crowd and, suddenly, they can't find a whore at high Mass. (Yeah, yeah. "Look on the altar." Ya bastids.) At this point, it is clear that people like Corzine, and Lloyd Blankfein could put on masks and start sticking up fruit stands all over lower Manhattan, and get away with it because of "the difficulty in prosecuting crimes like these."
This is what "looking forward, not back" really looks like. This is the inevitable consequence of hiring Tim Geithner and steeping yourself in the transparent fantasy that anyone on the upper levels of Wall Street was innocent in the general looting that led to the general collapse. The first directive of the Obama adminstration should have been to hire an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury out of the ranks of the most merciless, bloodthirsty assistant U.S. attorneys you could find. The second directive should have been to the Treasury Secretary telling him that he had absolutely no authority over the assistant in question. This assistant should have been given carte blanche to use every method under the Constitution to make cases and to bring them to trial. The financial-services industry should still be being treated like the Gambinos.
Instead, we have Goldman and MF Global skating, and we are treated to a paragraph that should set off a gorge volcano in any American whose net worth is less than 40 billion quatloos.
Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans. He is currently trading with his family's wealth. If he is successful as a hedge fund manager, it would be the latest career comeback for a man who was ousted from both the top seat at Goldman Sachs and the New Jersey governor's mansion.
I'm certainly rooting for the greedy bastard. How about you?