Corzine proceeded to do exactly the sorts of things Wall Street has become infamous for: making crazy bets with other people's money, counting on governments to bail out the private sector and, allegedly, expecting to get friendly treatment from regulators. Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was an old friend and colleague of Corzine's at Goldman Sachs and in Washington. Gensler had been a key aide to Sen. Paul Sarbanes and had reportedly worked closely with Corzine writing the Sarbanes-Oxley bill. At MF Global, under Gensler's watch, Corzine bet more than $6 billion on the European sovereign debt crisis, using borrowed client money. MF Global also apparently commingled client and company funds to pay off financial obligations, which is illegal.
Under Corzine, MF Global lost well over $1 billion, and I don't mean in the profit/loss sense. I mean it was physically misplaced and Corzine cannot account for where it went. The Justice Department is investigating, and news media accounts suggest a criminal prosecution is likely. Somewhat better late than never, Gensler recused himself after MF Global went bankrupt.
So, why the trip down memory lane? Because the Obama campaign just announced that Corzine is still on the list of top-tier bundlers for the Obama re-election campaign. Corzine has raised more than half a million dollars for Obama.
Obama is constantly denouncing "millionaires and billionaires" for playing by their own rules. It's true that the campaign told one reporter in February that it wouldn't take more money from Corzine himself, but it's been happy to let the man solicit donations for Obama even as Corzine is under investigation by Obama's own Justice Department. How cozy.
Tell me, what's the point of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its countless sympathizers in the Democratic Party and the media, if that's good enough? Whatever happened to changing how Washington works?
We're about to enter a very long campaign in which where an apparently squeaky-clean Mitt Romney is going to be demonized for his success and dragged through the gutter. Meanwhile, Obama took cash from a true denizen of the gutter.
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