LOS ANGELES, December 1, 2011—Jon Corzine is the Jerry Sandusky of Wall Street.
Yet unlike Jerry Sandusky, Jon Corzine will never be held accountable for his misdeeds. Jon Corzine is above the law.
For those horrified at the comparison between these two vile men, it is not offered lightly.
Most people of all political stripes agree that Jerry Sandusky should burn in a fiery pit of hell. Even people who are against torture would consider making him an exception. The former Penn State football coach sexually violated underage boys. The word “evil” is tossed around cavalierly, but Sandusky’s actions fit the bill.
He deserves and will be entitled to a fair trial, but if convicted people will lose little sleep if this monster suffers in prison.
Yet somehow, Jon Corzine escapes being categorized in the same manner.
What Jon Corzine did was less shocking to our souls, but his actions were significantly more destructive to society at large.
As the former Governor of New Jersey, Mr. Corzine went speeding down the highway and crashed his car at 91 miles per hour. He was temporarily injured in the crash. Yet what if had hit somebody else? Every single motorist and pedestrian withing a certain radius of Mr. Corzine was a potential victim. He knew what he was doing, and showed a callous disregard for human life.
Ordinary human beings driving at that speed do not get off with a warning or a ticket. They go before a judge. 91 is not the new 75. Mr. Corzine skated, as he always does.
While Governor, Mr. Corzine put his lover on the payroll in what can only be described as the type of “job” that gets college football stars and their universities in a heap of trouble.
Real jobs require being qualified to do he work and then showing up and actually doing the work. In Mr. Corzine’s case, the only accurate description of his appointment would be corruption. The fact that Mr. Corzine was cheating on his wife is not the key issue. Yet if his lover was given “hush money” in the form of a non-existent “job,” questions should have been asked. Mr. Corzine skated, as he always does.
Mr. Corzine’s reward for being fired from Goldman Sachs was to run New Jersey. His reward for being fired from that job was to be given the keys to MF Global. MF Global was not a sinking ship that Mr. Corzine failed to rescue.
It was a healthy company that Mr. Corzine rapidly and single-handedly destroyed.
He placed large bets on European bonds, and he lost. Yet this is not as simple as a man being wrong.
Mr. Corzine was not trading his own money. He was risking the firm’s capital. He placed all of the eggs in one basket over the vociferous objections of his lieutenants. He knew best, in keeping with his typical behavior.
The story does not end there. To hide the losses, customer funds were mixed with company money. This is called commingling, and it is illegal. Among all financial crimes, commingling may be at the top of the list. How bad is what Jon Corzine did?
This is Bernie Madoff bad. This is Enron and Worldcom bad. This is Willie Sutton bad. He robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” MF Global under Jon Corzine took customer funds and used them simply because they were there and they could. Fancy words like “conversion,” “commingling,” and “misappropriation” are fancy ways of saying that Jon Corzine’s MF Global were stealing people’s money. Stealing remains a crime.
Jerry Sandusky shocked the nation, but in terms of tangible hurt, his actions were limited to a few people and their families. The entire world should be disgusted, but maybe about fifty people can sue him for the pain he directly caused them.
Jon Corzine financially raped tens of thousands of people. Hundreds of millions of dollars are still “missing.” Customers have been told they will be made whole, but that remains to be seen. Over 1,000 employees were fired without notice or adequate severance. These were not “rich” people. Many of them were administrators making typical secretarial pay. Jon Corzine has wrecked lives around the world, as the initials for MF Global take on a rather harsh acronym.
Yet Jon Corzine differs from Jerry Sandusky in a way that should anger human beings everywhere. Sandusky will be held accountable. Corzine will not. He will skate, as he always does.
There are two reasons Mr. Corzine will never see the inside of a cell.
First of all, Mr. Corzine ran Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is above the law. Those who thought Dominique Strauss-Khan had diplomatic immunity should see what real immunity looks like. Goldman Sachs is our government. Robert Rubin, Timothy Geithner, Hank Paulson, and Jon Corzine have lifetime immunity from criminal prosecution. This is why Mr. Geithner (He actually did not work there, but most people think he did) was not required to pay his taxes and why Mr. Corzine is allowed to steal from his customers (To be fair to Mr. Paulson and Mr. Rubin, they have not been accused of crimes. TARP can be argued on its merits, but it was legal).
Goldman Sachs is “too big to fail.” This is why Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were allowed to (appropriately) burn but Goldman Sachs had to be saved. The United States government did not want to admit that the “best and brightest” it hired to run this nation may be overrated in the skills department. Then, heaven forbid, people may question future hiring practices by our politicians. When Goldman Sachs was accused of wrongdoing that was far more serious than their competitors, they were given a finger wagging and sent to bed with their five course meal, but without dessert. The government then apologized and gave them extra dessert later on. Goldman Sachs is King, and to quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the King.”
The second reason Jon Corzine is above the law is his political ideology. Jon Corzine is a liberal. Actually, he is a leftist, with views every bit as far left as Socialist Bernie Sanders. He is a “progressive,” which automatically carries with it the aura of being noble, virtuous, and caring. As with most leftists, results are irrelevant. Intentions are all that matters. More than one liberal columnist pointed out that Jon Corzine favors single-payer healthcare, gay marriage, abortion on demand, and cap-and-trade legislation. In other words, he is a saint. In the same way good deeds by conservatives are ignored simply because they are conservatives, all bad behavior by liberals can be washed away by simply being liberal.
This is why Occupy Wall Street protesters will not utter his name, despite his being the very essence of the greed and corruption that movement claims to care about.
This is why Barack Obama and Joe Biden will not demand he be investigated. They bragged about consulting him for financial advice during the 2008 crisis. They loudly campaigned for him for Governor. Once that failed, he was rumored to be the next Treasury Secretary. Mr. Corzine is Mr. Obama’s ideological soulmate.
This is why more regulations will accomplish nothing. The regulators are not going to touch Goldman Sachs or Mr. Corzine. The head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is a liberal Democrat who has donated money to Corzine’s political campaigns.
It is one thing to be a liberal Democrat. It is another thing to be tied to Goldman Sachs.
Yet to be both of these things means one is connected on high.
Jon Corzine could commit every atrocity short of what Jerry Sandusky did (and maybe even that) and still not be held accountable.
Jon Corzine is above the law.
He will skate. Justice will never be done.
Once memories fade, he will most likely be given one of the only two fates worthy of his caliber.
Either he will head up a global corrupt bureaucracy like the International Monetary Fund or the United Nations, or he will be given the one job where standards never need apply and corruption is encouraged and expected. He can be the next Democratic Party presidential nominee.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.