Someday soon, the whole saga of MF Global will seem like a fever dream: A former Goldman Sachs chief and U.S. senator lost his bid for reelection as governor of New Jersey to that fat guy who closed the George Washington Bridge for petty political vengeance, and for his second act sought to turn a derivatives broker into a Wall Street powerhouse in the teeth of the financial crisis, only to run into the kind of liquidity issues that were sort of what the whole financial crisis was about? Someone or something then said, “Hey, why don’t we just cover those shortfalls with other people’s money?” And so it was done, until even that wasn’t enough and MF Global went kablooey on Halloween 2011?
The ensuing five-and-a-half years have mostly been about determining who that someone or something was. There was, after all, $1.6 billion worth of blame to go around. Was it Jon Corzine’s fault? Was it assistant treasurer Edith O’Brien's? Was it CFO Henri Steenkamp's? Was it Jamie Dimon's? Was it Jon Corzine’s dance instructor's? Was it those evil Koch brothers'? Was it everybody's? Was it nobody's, since no one actually lost any money in the end? Or was it PwC's, since their allegedly magical-thinking accounting at MF Global left a little something to be desired, according to MF Global?
Well, we’ll never know, because PwC just became the latest someone or something to settle sans blame.
Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed. Both sides said the case has been settled to “the mutual satisfaction of the parties” and declined to discuss the agreement further.
The settlement came during the third week of an expected five-week trial in federal court in New York, in which MF Global’s bankruptcy administrator had sought $3 billion in damages and interest from PwC.