Will Corzine Walk?

It is a strange world when I find myself agreeing with the New York Times columnist who called House Republicans “terrorists” last summer.  Yesterday Joe Nocera of the Times had a nice piece on the MF Global mess :

Is MF Global getting a free pass?

As Nocera points out, the raid on the customers’ accounts during the closing stages of MF Global’s failure was clearly a criminal act.  The only remaining question seems to be whether prosecutors will find enough evidence to go to trial, and whether Corzine’s political influence may be sufficient to cause prosecutors to back off.

Nocera’s column also touches implicitly on an issue I’ve discussed for months, which is the toxic nexus between Wall Street and Washington.  The perception that there is one set of rules for the little people, and a different set of rules for Wall Street titans like Corzine, is deeply corrosive of faith in our system.  If there is one thing that conservative Republicans like me and liberal Democrats like Nocera can agree on, it is that you can’t put an 18-year-old meth addict in jail for boosting a stereo from Target, and then fail to put a 65-year-old rich guy in jail for stealing a billion dollars.

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