Trader, father, vetera...
Trader, father, veteran, convict - Fortune
As famous CEOs marched off to jail, so did lots of guys like Craig Gile. The Citigroup trader had a wonderful life - until the Feds decided to make an example of him. Was it fair?
The inmate: At the Federal prison camp in Jesup, Ga., washed windows and later taught finance.By Betsy Morris, senior editor June 7, 2008
(Fortune Magazine) -- To friends, the idea that Craig Gile would end up in prison just didn't make sense. He was the guy on the tennis court who went out of his way to correct line calls.
For most of his 44 years, Charles Craig Gile led a charmed life. Honor student, captain of the basketball team, degrees from Vanderbilt and Wharton, medals for service as a naval aviator in Desert Storm, a Citigroup commodities trader with a cedar-shingle house on the Connecticut shore and a Christmas-card-perfect family - a lovely wife and three rambunctious boys.
Waiting for dad: The Gile boys (from left) Carter, Ian and Garrett, with their mom in the livingroom of their home in suburban Orlando.
Since last August, though, he has been Inmate No. 59449-054, dressed in a dark-green prison uniform in a place he had never on his worst day imagined he'd spend time: the federal prison camp in Jesup, Ga. "This notion of a Club Fed is terribly inaccurate," he said recently. "That place doesn't exist. No golf. No tennis. No lobster. No nice meals - unless you consider the bologna soup we had a couple of weeks ago a nice meal. I live in an open-air cinderblock building. Sleep in a triple-decker bunk bed. There are six toilets. Seven showers for 78 men."
It has been a far cry from the life he was used to - barbecues and tennis, homework and Little League. In prison, breakfast is at six. Room inspection at 7:45. On Wall Street he traded complex energy derivatives. At Jesup his first job was washing windows. He moved up to teaching math, science, and finance classes to other prisoners, getting paid $9.80 a month. Dinner is at 3 P.M. The day is punctuated by roll calls to make sure nobody has escaped. Each month a prisoner is allotted 300 minutes to phone home. For Gile it has been nine months of shame and sadness, severe back pain, and homesickness. "It's been a horrible experience," he said in one of two interviews with Fortune in prison. "This will forever leave a mark on me and my family."
In May 2007, Craig Gile was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to one count of conspiracy to falsify bank records and commit wire fraud at Citigroup, where he was head of American sales and trading on the commodities desk. Federal prosecutors accused Gile and his boss, David Becker, of overstating the value and understating the risk of their trading positions in complex energy-based derivatives in late 2003 and early 2004 in order to boost their year-end bonuses. They had allegedly inflated their department's profits by a total of $20 million, with the help of a broker in Englewood, N.J., who was supposed to be independently verifying their calculations to Citi.
Is Gile guilty? That's how he pleaded to avoid the risk of a much longer sentence. He told the judge he was "truly sorry." But his real sorrow was that he had to give up what he desperately wanted: the chance to clear his name. He had little hope that a jury would understand or accept his rationale for the valuation of complex derivatives, let alone that he could convince it that his efforts to fix the problem were a sign of his good intentions rather than a cover-up. His lawyers warned him he could end up spending as much as five years in prison, not to mention $1 million on a trial, if he were to lose. So after months of anguish, he took a plea deal, and on the last day of school in Longwood, Fla., where he had moved his family, he fired up the grill on his backyard patio for an end-of-school barbecue and sat down his three sons (ages 13, 11, and 9) to explain why their dad would be going to prison.
He was following his boss's orders, he told them. He was probably too trusting. He didn't know exactly what the rules were. He used examples the boys could relate to, recalls his wife, Maureen - "Like if somebody throws a ball, and it cracks a neighbor's window, and everybody runs away. And she reports all the names to the police, then you're in trouble too, even if you didn't throw the ball." His name is pronounced like "guile," but any similarity seems to end there. Recently, sitting at a folding table in the cinderblock training center at the Jesup prison, it is clear that Gile is a mix of sadness, regret, some denial, and sheer wonder at how things could've gone so wrong so fast. "I think there are hundreds, if not thousands, of traders who work on Wall Street every day valuing their portfolios, and they view it as being an internal bookkeeping function, and they don't realize that they are at risk of ending up here."
At sentencing, the judge said he was sorry too, but felt he had to make a point. U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet ordered Gile to repay the bank $185,819 as restitution for the inflated bonus. And a prison sentence was necessary, the judge said, to act as a deterrent. "I regret it. I wish it were otherwise.... But I think you have been a participant in a culture about which one cannot be tolerant."
Actually, it's more complicated than that, which is why Craig Gile is more a parable than a criminal. His is the story of a good guy navigating an especially tricky era of American business. You could call it the wink-and-a-nod era. Bosses want results but not too many details. At what point does a stretch goal become a step over the line? When does adept managing become managed earnings? Seeing the distinction is made all the more difficult by extreme innovation and hyper-competition. This is especially true on Wall Street, where it's commonplace to trade exotic derivatives that are so illiquid they might only have one customer. As a result, it's also common for traders to book the highly subjective value of their own complicated and volatile derivative trades, despite the obvious inherent conflict of interest.
Wherever the line is, it was thoroughly trampled as every major financial institution, including Citigroup, rushed to get in on the derivatives-trading boom. The generals at those firms made clear that they wanted a big piece of the action, and the foot soldiers on the trading desks reacted accordingly. When Becker also pleaded guilty, his lawyer told the court his motivation was not to get a bigger bonus but to make his budget and please his superiors. "The type of conduct that got Craig Gile ensnared in the criminal justice system is conduct that I believe is in many ways routine on Wall Street," says Roland Riopelle, Gile's lawyer, who handles many white-collar cases. The kind of derivatives that Gile was "attempting to value on the books of his employer are extremely hard to value and I believe are often overvalued by those who deal in them. I think this is a common practice."
As Gile was settling into his new job on the Citigroup commodities desk in 2003, two counter-currents were in full swing. One was a post-Enron crackdown on white-collar fraud that would eventually ensnare not just Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling but hundreds of other executives (yes, hundreds), ranging from VPs to CEOs. The other was the derivatives-trading boom that would come to grief a few years later, when securities tied to sub-prime mortgages came crashing down. While banks have written off tens of billions of dollars and the Federal Reserve has been forced to inject billions to prop up the credit market, the captains of this industry, who led disastrous charges into derivatives, have so far suffered only damaged reputations - while collecting fat severance packages. Gile, who took a step into a million-dollar gray area, went to prison. "There are numerous banks and investment banks that have taken billions and billions of dollars of write-offs, and to my knowledge nobody has been charged with anything - never mind anybody going to jail," says Gile's friend Eric Blattman, a former hedge fund manager and now a private investor. "When you look at the whole scope of things, what Craig's accused of is like the fly on the back of the elephant."
For anybody who knew him, the idea that Craig Gile would end up in prison just didn't make sense. If it could happen to him, it could happen to anybody. He was the guy on the tennis court who went out of his way to correct line calls- even when they went against him, says a tennis partner. "I can see this or that guy getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar," says John Maloney, a friend and neighbor who started the youth basketball league with Gile in Rowayton, Conn. "But Craig's just not that guy." There was nothing in his past that would suggest a career trajectory like this. He was the kind of eager-to-please kid who left a trail of awards, report cards, and newspaper clippings that his mother, Jean, now sifts through somewhat painfully. There's Craig on the Biddy Basketball team in Norwalk, on the Orange Park All Stars, on the dean's list at Vanderbilt. "Everybody should have a kid like this," says his father, Spike. Craig loosened up a little bit at Vanderbilt, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship, joining a fraternity and playing the kazoo in the popular All Toy Band. But as his friends went off to jobs or grad school, he left for Navy flight school in Pensacola, Fla., and ended up a navigator bombardier on an A-6 Intruder, flying 23 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. In a letter asking the court for leniency, a fellow pilot described how Gile chided him when he didn't want to take off again to refuel a stranded jet after having just landed on the aircraft carrier in a harrowing thunderstorm. "Craig chastised me and reminded me that our friends were counting on us 'to get them some gas or they're going to be swimming.' He never once thought about himself."
By 1996 he had married Maureen, whom he would ever after, on a daily basis, refer to as "the lovely Maureen," or "TLM" in writing, and moved his growing family to Rowayton, a place he never intended to leave. He had fulfilled his ROTC commitments teaching at Penn while simultaneously getting an MBA at Wharton, and then headed straight to Citi to trade bonds. For a family man like Gile, Rowayton was the perfect place from which to catch the 5:37 A.M. Metro North train to Grand Central Terminal - an idyllic little commuter town on Long Island Sound where the husbands spill off the train on Friday nights and head to Bayley Beach. There, they know, the kids will be playing some kind of sport and the wives will be waiting to barbecue. A lot of traders go out drinking in Manhattan after a long day, but Gile couldn't wait to get home. He was a treasurer of the civic association and founder of the youth basketball league.
His annual Christmas letters were filled with humor and happiness. "Maureen has immersed herself and the boys into roughly one gazillion activities," he wrote in 1997. "I think there was one time this calendar year when I phoned home and they were actually there. I didn't know what to say to something other than the answering machine, so Maureen just assumed it was a crank call." In 1998, with Maureen pregnant, he joked, "Should we have another boy, we will be taking donations for straitjackets for TLM," but later added, "The Gile boyz are super-sweet, super-active, and a super good time." The next several years were filled with jokes about the trials and tribulations of tearing down and rebuilding the house the Giles had bought in the beachfront neighborhood of Bell Island. Each letter ended cheerfully with sincere pleas to visit and to have a "fantabulous holiday season."
Which is what made the strange odyssey that began for the Giles in early 2004 all the more astonishing. On a winter day in late February, Maureen went to pick up the kids after school, and there at the playground was Craig, in the middle of the afternoon, dressed in his business suit. "Hi," she said, caught off-guard. "What are you doing here?" Later, when the boys were out of earshot, he told her that he was on paid leave for a few days, she recalls. "He said there was an investigation going on: 'They are looking at our books.' He didn't seem too concerned." Over the next two weeks Citi would call him in to answer questions, and he complied. "I never in my wildest dreams thought I would lose my job," he says, looking back. "I thought they would do some investigating, find some systemic problems, fix them, and move on." (He would later, in letters to Maureen from prison, call this his "head-in-the-sand syndrome.")
Then, two weeks later, in mid-March, he got a call. He'd been fired. It was a shock. The Giles were hurt and angry. The termination cost him stock and options worth about $1.5 million and a job that was earning him an annual bonus of more than $800,000. But they moved on, and by May, Craig had a new job at Graham Capital, a hedge fund based in Rowayton, managing an energy portfolio that would grow to about $40 million. That December the Christmas letter told how he'd "parlayed a three-hour-commute adventure into five minutes," with a new office across the street from the kids' school, close enough to catch the occasional after-school play. "I hope this doesn't come across as bragging, but I DOMINATE in kickball," he wrote. His December was darkened, though, by hearing third-hand that federal agents were questioning some of his old colleagues on the commodities desk.
Then, at the end of January 2005, the rumors turned horribly real. After dinner Craig and Maureen were helping with homework and herding the boys toward bed when the doorbell rang. Gile went to the door. There, in the cold, dark night, were two men in suits. One of them flashed a silver badge. They were from the FBI. The agents wanted to ask him some questions. His heart sank, and he told them his lawyers had advised him not to talk. Then he went through the motions of the nighttime routines - the homework, the stories, the good-night kisses. "Generally I can sleep in any condition," he says. That night neither Craig nor Maureen got much sleep.
In the months that followed, the Giles kept hoping the investigation would go away based on reports from his lawyers, who were in touch with the prosecutor's office. He had rejected one of the options the prosecutor had presented, which was to testify against Becker. Instead, says McKay Chauvin, a college buddy and circuit court judge in Kentucky who would become Gile's main confidant through the ordeal, the events unfolding in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York were building into "the perfect storm of circumstances for Craig." Neither Gile nor his lawyers ever knew for sure why a case as relatively small as theirs would be the one the prosecutors would decide to take on. But they later speculated it was because Citigroup, which had been front and center in scandals ranging from Enron to the securities-analysis debacle, wanted to demonstrate its enthusiasm for law enforcement. Citigroup's only comment to Fortune: "Mr. Gile was terminated after an internal investigation in 2004, and Citi cooperated with the authorities during their investigation of the matter." In any event, at the time, the Giles couldn't possibly imagine the course his case would take once it did get on somebody's to-do list at the federal prosecutor's office. In Manhattan it's an entirely different philosophy, argues Chauvin, from how it worked in Kentucky, where he had been an assistant U.S. attorney for five years. Think Main Street vs. Wall Street. "As a former U.S. attorney, I generally appreciate the raw power you have to ruin a person's life," says Chauvin. "If you can't say with a clear conscience that this guy ought to be in prison, then you should just say no. It's not a contest. It's not a game. "
But when it comes to Wall Street, in the absence of clear rules and a lack of close regulatory supervision, the thinking among prosecutors and judges seems to be that the aggressive pursuit of a select few will be a deterrent to thousands of other traders who might be similarly tempted. Jonathan Streeter, the assistant U.S. attorney who handled the case, said he couldn't comment. However, an attorney who formerly worked in the Southern District says there are very stringent rules in the office about how far a prosecutor can bend to show leniency to a defendant. "Once that train gets on that track," says Chauvin, "it is almost impossible to derail."
Through the months that followed, the investigation began to cast a cloud over the clambakes at Bayley Beach, the family gatherings, the Little League games. "Hey, Coach," one Little Leaguer prompted, trying to get a call from Gile, his first-base coach; Gile had forgotten to wave the kid to second. Gile looked over at his friend Blattman, who was also coaching, and shrugged. "My bad," he called. In Rowayton rumors flew. People asked each other questions. Sometimes they asked the Giles. But Gile's attorneys had told them to keep quiet, so they kept their frustrations and fears - and their side of the story - to themselves. "It was hard," says Maureen.
In spring 2005 the Giles decided to uproot the family. It was wrenching; they had built their dream house. "I had gone to the quarry to pick out the stone for the fireplace and picked out all our tile," Maureen recalls. But after living in the house only a year and a half, they could sell it for $3.2 million and buy one for less than half that in Longwood, Fla., a suburb of Orlando. Craig badly needed a change, and his parents were ready to retire from their decorating business there. Florida would provide a clean slate in a new community. They moved into a gated community called Alaqua Lakes, as different from Rowayton as golf is from sailing - New South, transient, filled with kids, and free of judgmental banker types.
The Giles jumped right in, signing the kids up for sports, playing tennis, and joining the Homeowners' Association, for which Craig was enlisted to help plan a hoedown. He quickly settled into his new job - selling shutters and blinds - and from then on rarely wore anything but cargo shorts. "My assumption was that Craig had made a little money in New York and did his thing and now was going to enjoy life," says his golf and tennis partner, David Graef. Every morning he saw his kids off at the bus stop with the subdivision's other dads, and every Tuesday night he played tennis with them. The move "gave us a little bit of fresh air," explains Maureen.
The gathering storm followed them south. In November, as Gile was out on a job measuring windows, he got a cellphone call from his attorney. The prosecutors had decided to go forward. It was "like a shot to my gut," Gile recalls. He finished the job and went home bearing yet more horrible news to the lovely Maureen. This was the point at which he decided to seek advice from Judge Chauvin, his old Vanderbilt fraternity brother. Gile told his friend that he was unhappy with his lawyers because they wanted him to agree to a plea bargain- and he couldn't understand why. After Gile explained the whole thing, Chauvin recalls, he had a visceral reaction like Gile's, but for a different reason. "It was like I'd been punched in the stomach. Not because I felt my friend had just robbed a bank, but because I knew what he was about to step into. He was feeling like 'I'm an honest guy- how bad can this be?' And I knew exactly how bad this can be."
At Citigroup, Gile had been trading in energy derivatives based on futures and options that had been originally designed for businesses to hedge exposure to price volatility and other risks. One such derivative was based on the crack spread option, named after the refinery process of "cracking" crude oil into products like gasoline, and based on the difference in price between the products. While such instruments are freely traded in places like the New York Mercantile Exchange, derivatives traders can create positions so highly leveraged, illiquid, and long-term that keeping track of their value becomes a down-the-rabbit-hole computation. The government accused Gile and Becker of taking advantage of that situation in a variety of ways to inflate the value of the department's positions in order to pump up profits - and their 2003 year-end bonuses. In Gile's case the government alleged that he made changes on Oct. 8, 2003, to the mathematical relationships in a computer model that artificially inflated the present value of some of the desk's options by more than $2 million. All told, according to the charges filed in U.S. District Court, "the commodities desk appeared to perform significantly better during 2003 than it actually performed."
The government also charged Gile with giving false derivative-price quotes to an independent broker in order to deceive Citigroup. The broker arrangement had been set up, Gile explained in an e-mail he eventually sent to friends, because Citi wanted independent verification of each position. Gile believed the broker was to get quotes from other firms as well before he vouched for accurate numbers to the bank. Eventually, Gile began to realize that wasn't happening. "I knew this probably wasn't ideal, but I figured as long as I gave him reasonable quotes, it was no big deal," he would later say.
One of the most problematic charges for Gile was that in at least two specific instances he reversed changes made by a colleague that had inflated the values of the desk's positions. This was presented as evidence that he knew of the pattern of false valuations. Since he took a plea, Gile never had a chance to talk to the prosecutors directly or to answer the allegations directly in court. He told friends: "Late in 2003 it came to my attention that there were some inconsistencies in many of our marks. I went through the marks in question and did my best to correct the situation.... To be honest, I chalked it up to sloppiness and difficulties with our system."
Chauvin believes that some of the best evidence the jury would have against Gile was that he went back to fix the valuations. "Craig never intended to steal anything from anybody," he says, but "if you presume a guy is guilty, he's covering up. If you presume he's innocent, he's fixing it." Even if Gile had the best of intentions, his friend says, "ironically, that was covering up a crime."
Still, Gile was prepared to go to trial, right up until the day that his boss, Becker, accepted a plea deal and said he was prepared to testify against Gile. That tipped the balance. "If I was trying this case, I could probably convict you," Chauvin had to tell his friend. That could well mean a prison sentence of three to five years, as opposed to the likelihood of doing no time at all if he also took a plea deal. "And that was very hard advice to give a very, very good friend who you know didn't believe he'd committed a crime."
The Giles couldn't imagine the kids growing up without their dad. If Craig were to lose the case, oldest son Carter would be nearly off to college before Craig got out of prison. "We felt we were in a corner," says Maureen. Craig was solemn, deflated, serious, sad. But he had to convince her he should take the plea. "It was the biggest risk we couldn't take." So on Oct. 19, 2006, Gile flew to New York and pleaded guilty. It was so hard to get the words out, his lawyer had to nudge him. Afterward, Gile recalls, "we held out hope - maybe it was me keeping my head in the sand - that the judge would come to the conclusion that incarceration wouldn't serve any good purpose."
On May 17, the day of sentencing, the Giles were still hopeful, even though Becker had been sentenced two months earlier to 15 months in prison. But Craig had served in the military, after all; he'd fought in a war. Dozens of friends had written letters to the judge. Still, that morning, at a meeting in Riopelle's office near Carnegie Hall, the attorney told the Giles that - just as a precaution- they needed to think about which prison they'd choose. They had a right to make a request, he told them, handing them a book describing federal prisons. Stunned, the Giles took the book and went to a nearby Starbucks. They thumbed through the book, comparing prison amenities, and chose Pensacola because it was on a Navy base, offering jobs there for inmates and visiting hours that would let Maureen bring all three boys. After that, they walked around New York and stopped at a church to say a prayer.
In court that afternoon, after Riopelle made his argument, prosecutor Streeter spoke in favor of prison time, warning, "The press has followed this.... I think Your Honor can imagine the message to other traders out there ... that one can do this and still get a probationary sentence." Then, as Maureen and Craig sat squeezing each other's hands, Judge Sweet spelled out his sentence, saying, "I find these sentences under these circumstances extremely difficult.... But the issue of what is appropriate for what has been termed 'white-collar crime' I think is a very hard line."
In the next few weeks a letter arrived informing Craig that he would not be going to Pensacola. He would need to report instead to a detention center in downtown Miami, with no ball fields, more hardened criminals, higher security, and restricted visiting hours. It would take a prison consultant (fee: $2,500) to straighten out the mess and help arrange a change to Jesup, Ga. Why couldn't Gile go to Pensacola? He'd been deemed an escape risk, his lawyer told him. Apparently, because of his naval experience, somebody in the bureaucracy had determined there was a chance he'd hijack a plane and flee.
A few days before he was to leave for Jesup, the neighborhood had a big sendoff for him. They called it a "send Craig off to camp party." On Aug. 1, Gile's wife and father drove him to Jesup and left him with the only two belongings he was allowed: his eyeglasses and his wedding ring. For a long time after she returned home, Maureen would find little love notes in odd nooks all over the house.
At Jesup, Gile pretended he was back in the Navy aboard a ship, which helped him put up with the miserable routines. The biggest problem at first was how to kill time. He had to beg to wash windows instead of dishes or toilets. He spent his very long evenings mostly writing letters or reading. He read seven books the first month. He could have visitors on weekends, and at first Maureen tried to visit every couple of weeks. But there was nothing for the boys to do except see him in a dreary visitors' room or, on nice days, in an outdoor pavilion. They weren't allowed to have a ball - or anything else, for that matter, besides a deck of cards. So the family played a lot of spades and blitz and blackjack. After a while "they'd get kind of antsy," Maureen says. The family visits dropped to about once a month, but neighbors took up the slack.
Gile tried to make the best of it, getting to know the other prisoners, many of them serving decades-long terms under harsh sentencing rules for first-time drug possession. He formed a "nacho group" and a "pizza group," buying those snacks at the commissary, to meet on nights that the prison served the dreaded liver and bologna soup. He called it "our own little happy hour." Since he was getting letters from 130 people - too many to respond to - each month or so he would write one and send it to Maureen, who would type it into an e-mail. He became a big fan of the white-collar-crime cartoons in The New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal, and routinely made them into greeting cards that he sent to his friends - like the one of two men behind bars captioned, "I just consider myself as living in a gated community."
But he was also having a harder time than his letters would suggest. In September he injured his back while running. He could no longer exercise, and at times he could barely walk, but the strongest medicine the prison would give him was ibuprofen. (An MRI after his release indicated he had a ruptured disc that needed surgery.) He was cheerful for visitors, but he missed his family terribly, especially playing catch with the kids and going to their ball games, he told Fortune: "I miss those moments more than anything." He worried incessantly about how the experience might change him. "I'm doing my best to stay as unaffected by this place as possible," he wrote to Maureen in November. "I refuse to succumb to being a prisoner." In February he wrote to her, "I'll probably be less trusting, a little paranoid, and more careful in everything I do. Hopefully I'll be more considerate and understanding of people. I'll have a lot less faith in the justice system. Hopefully I'll be more tidy."
Now, after having given it months of thought, he says, "I take full responsibility for my role in the situation. It was never my intention to willfully mis-mark the portfolio, and it was never in my mind to deceive the bank. I've always been a man of integrity. And doing something like that is completely against everything I stand for." If he could do it all over, he would tell the bank's financial controllers that some of their requested numbers were not available in the market and that getting a concrete valuation of some of the trades was unrealistic. He'd ask more questions, he says. He would be more proactive.
Gile's term ended May 14 (he was released three months early), but his saga didn't. His sentence included a month in a halfway house in an Orlando industrial park to help him transition back into society (he will also be on parole for two years). Although the place has better food, in some ways it's equally frustrating. He was supposed to get a job, so he did - as an administrative assistant at Paradies Gifts, thanks to a friend. He makes minimum wage, 25% of which goes back to the halfway house. He could drive the nearly three miles to work, but there's a waiting list for parking at the halfway house, so he decided to walk. The first day, he got so lost that he had to climb a fence and scale an embankment to find his way home. It took more than two hours plus a lot of stress, since he's supposed to check in frequently via a landline. "Right now, wandering aimlessly around Orlando would not be a good career move for me," he told Fortune after he got back.
Still, it's good to finally be making some plans. As soon as he's out, in mid-June, he'll tend to the family business. But it will take more than that to offset all the lost time and income. His net worth, which was $2.5 million at the end of 2006, is now "a fair amount less," he says. He would like to start another business, maybe even a hedge fund. Some friends have said they would back him. "I'm going to look into it," he said recently. He's done a lot of reading in prison, and "as far as I know, there's nothing from a regulatory standpoint to deter me." But he really isn't sure, because with a felony conviction and starting from scratch, Craig Gile is in uncharted territory. When the subject came up during an interview in prison, it was as if a dark cloud passed over him momentarily. "I always hear that it's a nation of second chances," he said, looking off toward the window. "I'm hoping it's not just a nation of second chances for substance-abusing teenagers." Because it's clear that what he'd really like to do is get back to trading, get back to Wall Street, just get back.