The vindication of Jon Corzine?


Against the odds, it looks like the MFGlobal scandal will provide, if not a happy ending, then at least a not terribly unhappy ending.

For Jon Corzine, the upshot is that he'll be able to escape pariah status.

DealBook notes that,  "Mr. Corzine, a former chief of Goldman Sachs, has started to regain his footing. He spent the summer on Long Island, traveled to France around the holidays and visited Central America for a humanitarian project involving children, setting up what he hopes will become a broader charitable effort. Mr. Corzine, 66, also spends time with his grandchildren and has office space in Midtown Manhattan, where he writes and trades with his own money."

He's no longer a pariah in part because the victims of the scandal have for the most part, quite improbably, been made whole, in many cases recovering the vast majority of the sum they lost. Vindication for Corzine also has arrived courtesy of a stunning recovery in the European sovereign debt that sunk the company in the first place.

"The European bonds at the center of a $6.3 billion bet by Mr. Corzine fully paid out when they matured in recent months. The large position in European sovereign debt in 2011 unnerved MF Global's investors and ratings agencies. Yet it is now clear that the bonds, which were sold to George Soros and other investors, were not by themselves to blame for felling MF Global. The firm also struggled after a one-time charge depressed its earnings."

In the end, I'd be surprised to see a single criminal indictment out of this mess. The urgency to prosecute has waned considerably. While no one will go to jail, the company still stands as an example of how poor controls can ruin a company.

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