The Wall Street Journal reports that former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine is seeking office space:
One of the locations he seems interested in: brokerage firm John Carris Investments, at 40 Wall St., around the corner from the New York Stock Exchange, these people said. Employees at the small firm have been told that the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chairman and New Jersey governor might drop by, one person familiar with the situation said.
The chateau shopping was definitely post facto ill-timed, and predictably, played terribly.
But let’s think this through.
Corzine is only seeking office space at the firm, not a job. So before we dust off the pitchforks and lanterns, which actually aren’t even that dusty given what Corzine has been up to, we should acknowledge that unless something nefarious not currently being reported emerges, this really isn’t that crazy of a thing for Corzine to be doing.
He’s potentially facing civil and criminal charges, both personally and as an officer of of MF Global, additional public testimony, and repeated depositions. On top of that, each of those facets require more than minor PR efforts, which must be coordinated for even minimal efficacy. Having an office makes sense. Having the fact that you are looking for an office leaked to the press is less good.
In all likelihood, Corzine is simply looking for an office that isn’t his lawyers’ or PR flack’s where he can do work for the many, many months ahead. Couldn’t he just work from their offices? Maybe. Or Maybe not. But can we begrudge the man his own Virginia Wolf moment?
So long as he pays for it personally, worse things have happened. Actually, Jon Corzine has done worse things and not just figuratively.
Let’s continue to judge him on those things, not the fact that his ego still propels him to have a business mailing address and someone to answer his phone.