MF Global Funds May Be Missing Because Someone Suffers From Test Anxiety

In the 2+ weeks since MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection, much has been written about Jon Corzine’s penchant for making wild bets, which worked out fine while he was at Goldman Sachs, where risk managers are empowered to stand up to employees putting the firm/bonus pool at risk, but not so much at MF-G, where he was a man on a mission. If JSC could turn back time…he’d still be JSC and he still would’ve had that little voice, down his plums, telling him to risk it all on Eurozone debt, which in turn would’ve caused various people to freak out, start a run on the bank and drive it into its current state of affairs. Separately though? This business with the customer funds that were desegregated from the firm’s own money and which are currently “missing,” despite several manhunts and “magical mystery tours” to find it? It didn’t have to be that way and maybe it wouldn’t have been if someone had been forced to dust off his series 24 books and review the section on “customer accounts,” before cramming into a test center and sitting for the exam alongside all the other scrubs, sweating through his sweater vest over getting at least 70% correct.

Making it to the top of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. apparently means that you never have to take another broker exam.The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. gave former MF Global Inc. chief executive Jon Corzine a waiver on Series 24 and Series 7 exams when he returned to the financial sector to head the firm in March 2010. The agency did, however, make Mr. Corzine take a Limited Futures, or Series 32, exam. Before MF Global, Mr. Corzine last worked on Wall Street in May 1999, when he served as chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co. He then took an 11-year break from the industry and was elected to a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey in 2000, and then was elected governor in 2005… first reported last week that Mr. Corzine passed the Series 7 exam in 1975 and the Series 24 exam in 1982 but had not sat for either one prior to taking the helm of MF Global. Finra says on its website that investment professionals must retake their exams after being out of the business for more than two years, the story notes. Finra spokeswoman Nancy Condon confirmed that Finra gave Mr. Corzine a waiver.

Perhaps if it was known that Corzine couldn’t correctly answer the question: What percentage of customer money must be covered in a segregated account? A) 200% B)100% C) 75% D) Meh…he would’ve at least been forced to take a night class refresher course. But, hindsight, etc. Tell you what– next Wall Street gig he gets, he promises to brush up. Deal?

FINRA granted Corzine a waiver on exams [Investment News]
Related: Purgatory For MF Global Customers

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26 Responses to “MF Global Funds May Be Missing Because Someone Suffers From Test Anxiety”

  1. Spanishmoon says:

    We await the inevitable Series 24 standardized test-taking scandal…..

    So we should now conduct the inevitable "fill-in-the-blank" contest to determine who took Corzine's test for him.


  2. Indifatigable says:

    Sometimes money just goes missing. It just happens.

    /From Greenwich to Gowanus With Love

  3. ETF Dude says:

    "Goldman Sachs, where risk managers are empowered to stand up to employees putting the firm/bonus pool at risk,"

    And a helluva job they've done!

  4. Bandersnatch says:

    Series 27 > Series 24 > Series 7 ≠ MBA <> CFA ≈ CPA

  5. Guest says:

    He apparently didn't need to wear a seatbelt either, and look what happened to him.

  6. Anonymous says:

    your money, my money, our money, my money, just my money, "gone"

  7. pazzo83 says:

    – I've got this $600 million from customer accounts, and Corzine says we need to "invest" it so it can grow over the years.
    – Well that's fantastic, a really smart decision, young man. We can put that money in a Euro Sovereign Debt Fund, then we'll reinvest the earnings into foreign currency accounts with compounding interest aaand it's gone.
    – Uh, what?
    – It's gone. It's all gone.
    – What's all gone?
    – The money in your account – it didn't do too well, it's gone.

  8. Im Dating A OnePercenter says:

    Plenty of the big swinging dickies on Wall Street don't take the exams because they can swing it hard enough so that nobody bats an eye. If it's between having a top-producing person on your team or knowing that they may fail a test and not be able to bring in the big money, I doubt that these guys would go with the latter.

  9. goldtracker says:

    LOL Very nice sarcasm.

    I firmly believe that this MF-G is going to be one the watershed moments in the whole economic crisis scenario as it's helping to cement the thought of the regular guy on the street that bankers and investors can't be trusted.

    Just saw a Bloomberg article that said that a small rule change was the reason that MF-G failed. Yeah. right.

  10. lex luthor says:

    Anyone else would be in Butner grabbing his ankles and gritting his teeth.

  11. Guest says:

    He went straight from not knowing anything about investing or taking tests, to being the subject of a question on future ethics exams.

  12. Former says:

    Finra is a SRO! It is owned by the big banks and they do what they say!

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