Why Is Jon Corzine Still at Liberty?

Jon Corzine, epitome of the .01%, former head of Goldman Sachs, former U.S. senator and governor of New Jersey: why is he still at liberty? Why is he padding about dispensing ridiculous economic advice to terminally credulous politicians like Joe Biden (“The first thing we did was call Jon Corzine,” said our vice president within weeks of taking office). Have an air sickness bag handy? When you’ve attended to that, take a look at this YouTube video.

Who is more repulsive, Senator Corzine or Vice President Biden? I’m not sure we have instruments accurate enough to measure that. But at least the vice president has not, as far as I know, presided over an entity that lost $1.6 billion of its clients’ money, as Jon Corzine did as head of MF Global, another item on his resume. (I know, I know, Biden is helping to run an administration that loses $1.6 trillion annually, but let’s leave that to one side.) The Corzine story is old news, sort of.  It’s been reported, but not quite savored; there hasn’t been the gleeful handwringing on the part of the legacy media.  The New York Times, for example,  has not gone into hysterical overdrive, running front-page stories and blistering editorials every day as it would had Jon Corzine been a Republican malefactor.

Still, the outline is clear.  Here’s a tidbit from a February 28 story in the Huffington Post, bold face courtesy your humble reporter:

The $1.6 billion belonged to MF Global's clients. Officials say it apparently went to cover MF Global's short-term financial needs as investors and trading partners lost confidence in the firm, punishing its stock price and causing a severe cash shortage.

Client money is supposed to be held separately from corporate cash to protect investors in case a firm fails. MF Global's misuse of client money would violate a fundamental investor-protection for people who trade options and futures.

Corzine, who hired a criminal lawyer last fall, told Congress he did not know what happened to the money.

Gosh, where did that money go? It must be around somewhere. It was here just a minute ago!

It’s appropriate that Jon Corzine has hired a criminal lawyer. I wonder whether the government will freeze his assets, as it froze Conrad Black’s in an ex parte proceeding, making it impossible for him to pay the multi-million-dollar retainer that top lawyers demand. Probably not. Jon Corzine, after all, is one of them. He’s the sort of chap Joe Biden turns to for advice about fixing the U.S. economy.  That’s worked well, as anyone who has looked at the unemployment figures can see.