Corzine’s tone-deaf statement

By Felix Salmon
November 4, 2011
it's a doozy:

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Jon Corzine has not said anything in public since his firm and his reputation imploded at the end of last week. So his first public statement was always going to be closely watched. And it’s a doozy:

I have voluntarily offered my resignation to the Board of Directors of MF Global. This was a difficult decision, but one that I believe is best for the firm and its stakeholders.

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.

I intend to continue to assist the Company and its Board in their efforts to respond to regulatory inquiries and issues related to the disposition of the firm’s assets.

Firstly, this was a difficult decision? No, Jon, it wasn’t. You had no choice. If you hadn’t quit, you would have been fired. In fact, I’m kinda shocked the board hadn’t got around to firing you before today. If you drive a broker-dealer into bankruptcy with the loss of $630 million in client funds, resignation is a no-brainer. The only question is whether you’re going to end up going to jail.

And secondly, would it be too much to ask for just a tiny hint of remorse here? A short apology, perhaps, to the thousands of employees and customers who have lost their jobs or their money?

I’m sure you’re sad — that often happens, when you become the living embodiment of the destructive greed of the 1% and a hate figure for millions. But are you sorry? Or are you going to pull a Dick Fuld and live in denial, convinced “until they put me in the ground” that you’re a victim rather than a perpetrator?

This kind of thing is why there’s so much anger aimed at the 1%. Chances are, Corzine will never be prosecuted, let alone convicted, and that he’ll enjoy the comfortable retirement of a centimillionaire for decades to come. He deserves much worse. But right now, when it matters, he can’t even bring himself to say he’s sorry.

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Comments
9 comments so far

It’s not particularly interesting what he says, except for victims of MF Global’s demise. The statement was drafted in its entirety by lawyers, and reviewed by other lawyers. An apology may be interpreted as self-incrimination. I’m no lawyer, so if I’m wrong, please correct me.

Posted by Abulili | Report as abusive

It’s not particularly interesting what he says, except for victims of MF Global’s demise. The statement was drafted in its entirety by lawyers, and reviewed by other lawyers. An apology may be interpreted as self-incrimination. I’m no lawyer, so if I’m wrong, please correct me.

Posted by Abulili | Report as abusive

Sorry for accidentally posting twice (and now a third time, as I cannot remove one of the identical posts)

Posted by Abulili | Report as abusive

Well Wall Streeters operate by different standards than most. They are our “nobility” exempt from the laws that apply to commoners. So…not very surprising.

Posted by Chris08 | Report as abusive

I ask cynically – but this is what we want isn’t it. Small government, regulation lite, a congress lead by money interest only.

So please let’s not surprised when it shows its ugly head.

Posted by ETNYC | Report as abusive

Now if you wonder why there hasn’t been any meaningful banking regulation (sorry Dodd-Frank is pretty toothless), keep in mind that Corzine was a DEMOCRATIC senator.

Then keep in mind that Chuck Schumer, the DEMOCRATIC Senator from New York, is one of the biggest protectors of Wall Street in the Senate.

And lastly, keep in mind that it was Bill Clinton, a DEMOCRATIC President, who signed the repeal of Glass-Stegal into law.

It’s easy to blame the GOP for what’s happened, and they do bear a significant portion of the blame for the lack of regulation of Wall Street. But it’s not like the Democratic Party is blameless either.

Posted by mfw13 | Report as abusive

What is the difference between Republican and Democrat, anyways? Americans seem to make a big deal about this, but nobody else in the world can tell them apart.

If the parties were represented in an animated cartoon, which would be Beavis?

Posted by TFF | Report as abusive

The Democrat would be the one who sometimes turned into “Cornholio.” I don’t know off hand whether that’s Beavis or Butthead, butr he was briefly a Beatnik hero.

Posted by Christofurio | Report as abusive

I wonder why we don’t see any reference to the fact that Corzine has to have committed at least one felony, and probably many? Certainly as the CEO of MF Global he was required by Sarbanes-Oxley to certify personally that they had adequate accounting controls. The missing money is incontrovertible proof that they didn’t, and the nice thing is that the prosecutor doesn’t have to prove intent to defraud.

Posted by Acharn | Report as abusive
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