Thursday, December 15, 2011

Corzine Comes Clean

My pal Michael serves up the shorter John Corzine:

Q. (By the chairman): Mr. Corzine, you understand that you have the right to remain silent and refuse to testify before this committee?

A. (Mr. Corzine): Mr. Chairman, I do not choose to hide behind the Fifth Amendment. I want to give this committee a complete account of the situation, and I am ready to answer any and all of your questions.

Q. We appreciate your forthrightness and candor. In that connection it appears that $1.2 billion of your clients' money has gone missing. Can you tell the committee what happened to it?

A. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, but I don't have the faintest idea.
Reading William Cohan's Money and Power  last Spring--i.e., long before the current uproar went viral--I got the distinct sensation that Corzine was an accidental man, a loose cannon, an empty suit.  There has to be a reason why he was whisked ouf ot Goldman so briskly and efficiently.   


Allan Connery said...

Reminds me of James Fisk's non-answer to the same question.

After his attempt to corner the gold market precipitated the Black Friday panic back in 1869, a Congressional inquiry understandably wanted to know what happened to the money he made.

Fisk helpfully explained that it had "gone where the woodbine twineth."

A footnote: woodbine is a sweet-scented climbing vine that used to be planted around outhouses.

Ken Houghton said...

He was "whisked out" (five-plus years is "whisked"? Would anyone but a lifetime appointee think such?) when he Did the Right Thing twice: (1) got GS to assist in the LTCM bailout [look at the fate of the one firm that was asked and didn't] and (2) delayed GS going public.

Hank Paulson disliked both ideas. The second kept a lot of people at GS two or three years longer than they wanted to be, so the math on the ouster is easy.