Here's my imaginary impression of what Jon Corzine's apparent decision, as reported by DealBook, to start "weighing whether to start a hedge fund" less than a year after he presided over the meltdown of MF Global and destroyed his once-sterling reputation, looked like:
The scene: A Saint-Tropez poolside in late July. Corzine reclines on a chaise longue next to his wife Sharon. He's sipping from a coconut, and Sharon is reading 50 Shades of Grey, pondering the fact that her rich financier boytoy hasn't been feeling very libidinous since the, well, you know.
Sharon: "Say, Jon, what are you going to do next? Go back to Wall Street? Run some political campaigns?"
[Corzine, 50 pounds heavier, his tight white beard having sprawled into a tangled mess, looking somewhere between his former self and a Nick Nolte mugshot, glances over.]
Corzine: "Well, babe, I've been thinking maybe I go a different direction."
Corzine: "Yeah. I mean, why not buy a radish farm? Take up the pipe organ and get a gig in a little church on a hilltop somewhere? Do something to leave this cruel world behind."
Sharon: "You're being dramatic, Jon. Nobody's charging you with anything, and most of the customers will get their money back. You don't have to give up on your dream, just because of one little mistake."
Corzine: "One little mistake? I ran an entire firm into the ground! Thousands of people out of work! A billion-six missing! And all because I ran out of time. If Mario Draghi had just ... "
Sharon: "Jon, you've got to stop beating yourself up. Remember the story you told me the night we met? About how you won the New Jersey governorship and you weren't even campaigning that hard?"
Sharon: "And remember how Hank Paulson told you at that cocktail party last year that the Mellon merger might have been a good idea after all?"
Corzine: "Yes, I remember. Where are you going with this?"
Sharon: "Well, you can't let the bastards destroy your confidence, Jon. You have to believe in yourself."
Corzine: "That's not the issue, Sharon. The issue is ... "
Sharon: "Jon, I don't want to hear it. You're all tangled up in self-pity. Look at you — you haven't smiled in weeks. You have to get the old Jon back."
[Corzine looks down at nineties-era beach bag, monogrammed with "JSC" and emblazoned with the Goldman logo. A half-smile creeps onto his face.]
Corzine: "Well, I could start a hedge fund."
Sharon: "Yes! There's the old Jon!"
Corzine: "And I could probably get off the ground in time to trade the Euro breakup."
Corzine: "And maybe they'll write some nice stories about me in the papers."
Corzine: "And, if I do really well, we can get that place on the Riviera after all."
[Corzine puts down coconut, removes sunglasses, sits up in his chair.]
Corzine: "Hmm. Very interesting. Let me think about it some more. But first, a dip?"