November 02, 2011
NYC Letter: People In High Places -- Jon Corzine
Day 1,015 of CHOPE
For the past four years, you've had an honorable man at the helm of this state during one of the most difficult periods in its history. You've had a leader who's put the interests of hardworking New Jersey families ahead of the special interests. You've had a leader who's fought for what matters most to the people of New Jersey. That's the kind of Jon -- the kind of governor that Jon Corzine has been. That's the kind of governor that Jon Corzine will continue to be. And that's why New Jersey needs to give Jon Corzine another four years. (Applause.)
Blue State Democrat Corzine went on to lose his re-election bid with 44.9% of the vote. Mr. Corzine returned to the world of finance as CEO of MF Global Inc. in March 2010. On October 31, 2011, MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
November 1, 2011 (Bloomberg) - In the end, Jon Corzine was little more than an unsupervised rogue trader.
His disproportionately reckless $6.3 billion bet on the credit quality of a few European nations bankrupted MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MF) over the course of three dramatic days after the short-term credit markets quickly lost confidence in him and his firm. His gamble will cost MF’s shareholders and creditors billions of dollars and, virtually overnight, put the careers of MF’s almost 3,000 employees in jeopardy.
MF Global now has the distinction of being one of the largest bankruptcies in American corporate history, with almost $40 billion in liabilities. There is also the matter of the hundreds of millions of dollars of customers’ money that regulators have reported to be missing from the firm’s coffers.
... And it now seems very hard to believe that just a few months ago Corzine was considered the front-runner to be the next U.S. Treasury secretary.
[Hat tip: DH]
August 4, 2011 (CNBC) - Speculation that Corzine is under consideration for the top job at Treasury took off again this week when it was discovered the investment bank he runs, MF Global, had included a ["key man provision"] in a bond prospectus that would pay bondholders more interest if Corzine left to take a job in the administration.
... He still has deep connections on Wall Street, making him a possible fundraising champion for the Obama administration.
Many of the names mentioned as possible successors to Secretary Geithner have far less appeal to the liberal base.
Which brings us back to Mr. Obama and his high regard for Mr. Corzine:
Now, let me say something about Jon the man, because we served together in the United States Senate and I learned what kind of man he is. ... Jon Corzine was one of the best colleagues I had in the Senate and he's one of the best partners I have in the White House. (Applause.) ... That's what so much of this campaign comes down to. It's a matter of trust.
Mr. Corzine bankrupted MF Global precisely on a matter of trust.
October 31, 2011 (NYT) - Federal regulators have discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money has gone missing from MF Global in recent days, prompting an investigation into the brokerage firm, which is run by Jon S. Corzine, the former New Jersey governor, several people briefed on the matter said on Monday.
... Regulators are examining whether MF Global diverted some customer funds to support its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse.
... It is not uncommon for some funds to be unaccounted for when a financial firm fails, but the magnitude in the case of MF Global was unnerving. ... In any case, what led to the unaccounted-for cash could violate a tenet of Wall Street regulation: Customers’ funds must be kept separate from company money. One of the basic duties of any brokerage firm is to keep track of customer accounts on a daily basis.
FBI TO PROBE CORZINE’S MF GLOBAL;
FIRM ADMITTED USING CLIENT CASH
AS ITS TROUBLES MOUNTED
WASHINGTON November 1, 2011 (WaPo/AP)
OBAMA CAMPAIGN MAY RETURN CASH
FROM MF GLOBAL'S CORZINE
MF Global Chief Was Major Fundraiser For Obama
WASHINGTON, November 2, 2011 (Reuters) - Corzine, who is at the center of a storm over the securities company's bankruptcy this week, has been a major fundraiser for Obama, having donated the maximum of $5,000 that an individual can give for a presidential campaign, according to campaign finance records.
He also held a lavish $35,800-a-head fundraising dinner for Obama at his home in April and raised or "bundled" donations of at least $500,000 so far for Obama's 2012 re-election effort. ... Corzine has also donated $15,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year and $25,000 to Senate Democrats in 2010, according to regulatory filings.
An Obama campaign official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the donations received from Corzine as an individual would be returned if civil or criminal charges are brought against him.
What gives us pause is had Mr. Geithner folded after this summer's debt ceiling negotiations, that Mr. Corzine might now be perched at Treasury, ready with the same "one sweet roll" approach that bankrupted MF Global.
Trust.Posted by Damian at November 2, 2011 11:45 PM