The unsinkable Jon Corzine

    I’m trying to wrap my head around the news that Jon Corzine is thinking about launching a new hedge fund. Seriously, would you trust your money to that guy?But wait, this is the far more important question:

    How is it possible that the ex-New Jersey senator and governor, Obama fundraising whiz, and master of the universe could literally misplace $1.6 billion in client money at MF Global – poof! gone! – and somehow escape being thrown in the slammer?Yep, federal prosecutors signaled this week that they don’t have a criminal case against Corzine. The reasons are right out of Catch-22. Corzine admits to having lost track of the money (as he told a congressional panel last year, “I simply do not know where the money is”), but without the money, prosecutors can’t determine whether it was used for nefarious purposes, such as lining executives’ pockets. No money, no fraud case. It’s like a trying to prosecute a murder case without a body. Prosecutors have reportedly found “porous risk controls at the firm,” but that’s it.Charles Pierce, an irreverent blogger at Esquire magazine, voices his (and our) frustration quite succinctly: “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.”Hustlers like Corzine have been beating the rap for years; nobody ever seems to get held accountable for white-collar perfidy on Wall Street. Maybe the prosecutors are right to forgo a Corzine prosecution (the legal Catch-22 is sickening, though arguably persuasive), but the least that should happen is that Democrats dump the guy. Last I heard, he was raising lots of money for President Obama – at the same time that Obama’s Justice Department was investigating him. To state the obvious, that doesn’t look good.Nor does it look good that one of the federal regulators in the Corzine case was a guy who once worked for Corzine at Goldman Sachs. It’s a very cozy world at the top of the heap. It’s the same deal regardless of which party happens to be in power.Obama is always assailing “millionaires and billionaires” for enriching themselves at the expense of the average Joe – but there are few better examples than Corzine, who keeps failing upwards. And now he’s plotting yet another comeback. Here’s some scary info from The New York Times:”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.”And this, from Forbes magazine:”For Corzine, it appears it won’t be too difficult to raise money for a hedge fund….Anthony Scaramucci, founder of hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, apparently has no qualms with handing over money to Corzine telling (the press), ‘Yes, I trust Jon Corzine and think if he starts a fund he will make money and be very successful.'”I have two reactions:1. Corzine is a living refutation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dictum that there are no second acts in American lives.  2. Guard your wallet.——-Follow me on Twitter, @dickpolman1

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