ballroom dancing

Christine Serwinski, come on down. [BusinessWeek, earlier]

Key Chicago employees were away and a significant transaction was botched in the lead up to a deficit in MF Global Holdings Ltd.’s customer accounts, according to internal emails, documents and people familiar with the matter. MF Global’s Chicago office was charged with handling money movements, including customer funds, during MF Global’s final days. But many key employees weren’t in the office. Two of them, Christine Serwinski, the firm’s North American finance chief, and Donna Stroder, the head of margins, were at a ballroom dancing competition in Las Vegas days before MF Global collapsed, said people familiar with the matter. [FINS]

While we’re on the subject of prepping for interviews, if you find yourself applying for a gig in China, please be advised that according to the South China Morning Post, “mainland job-seekers are increasingly required to exhibit ‘grey skills’ – binge drinking, playing mahjong and even ballroom dancing – to provide them with an edge in the market.” Several individuals took this advice to heart recently, resulting in the following scene.

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A retired Croatian underwear seamstress, who allowed her nephew, a former Goldman Sachs analyst, to make illegal insider trades through her brokerage account, has won the reversal of a $5.7 million penalty she owed to the Securities and Exchange Commission because she sent her response to the allegations to the wrong address.

Back in 2005, the seamstress, Sonja Anticevic, was implicated in an insider trading ring that involved two Goldman employees, a New Jersey mailman, a former Merrill Lynch analyst and a printing plant worker in Wisconsin. Read more »