Ralph Cioffi Acquitted, World Breathes Collective Sigh of Relief

Nelson Mandela.

Gerry Conlon.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Spiritual Leaders, Freedom Fighters and Saints Among Men – all falsely accused, wrongfully imprisoned and later exonerated as justice eventually prevailed.

Today you can add Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin to that list,  as the world collectively breathes a sigh of relief.

Detaining these two paragons of virtue for even a second could perhaps be considered the gravest travesty in the history of mankind’s rule of law.  Never before has such a moral trespass been committed against such virginal innocence.

Any reasonable person, upon hearing of the charges levied against Mr Cioffi and Mr Tannin, must conclude that their actions were entirely altruistic and above reproach.

To wit:

  • Yes, they blew up $1.6 billion worth of other people’s money – but what’s $1.6 billion in a country with a deficit of $14 trillion?
  • Yes, they sent emails internally about what a toxic time bomb the fund they managed was while simultaneously encouraging investors to “hang in there” – but couldn’t we simply interpret this gentle transgression as their own way of spreading cheer to their soon-to-be devastated clients?
  • And yes, they were shown to have moved their personal money out of the imploding fund while creating the impression that all was well – but if anything, should not we commend them for making sure they had some personal fortune left with which to provide stimulus to their local Lamborghini dealerships?  Such generosity and forethought!

Surely, if we look at every fund manager who misleads their public customers while a billion and a half dollars is vaporized, we could find fault with any of them, but the greater crime in doing so would be that we’d become nitpickers…and no one likes a nitpicker.

And so, from the deserts of Northern Africa to the teeming cities of the Far East, from the store-lined boulevards of western Europe to the rainforests in South America, from the pampered New York suburbs of Westchester to the foreclosure Hoovervilles of inland California, there will be great relief and jubilation at the justice that was done this day.

Many of us do not remember where we were when the Berlin Wall came down, when Man first set foot on the Moon or when Dan Quayle misspelled the word “Potato” in that classroom…but we, the global citizenry of earth, shall never forget where we were, whom we were with and what we were doing, when the fateful Not Guilty verdict shone down on the Southern District of New York’s courtroom like a golden ray projected from the heavens themselves.

We will never forget because it was on this day that we knew with certainty that all was right with the world.

Sleep well, humanity, and take comfort in the fact that these men remain unbesmirched by the petty courts of the land.

God bless us, everyone.

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  1. Wednesday links: Black November Abnormal Returns commented on Nov 11

    […] Financial-related white collar jury trials are never a slam dunk.  Some reactions to acquittals in the Bear Stearns case.  (NYTimes, Bloomberg, Clusterstock, The Reformed Broker) […]

  2. Wednesday links: Black November Abnormal Returns commented on Nov 11

    […] Financial-related white collar jury trials are never a slam dunk.  Some reactions to acquittals in the Bear Stearns case.  (NYTimes, Bloomberg, Clusterstock, The Reformed Broker) […]