Reuters reports that earlier today, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero greenlighted a lawsuit seeking to hold Jon Corzine and the upper echelons of MF Global management responsible for the late firm’s difficulties. But before customers’ lawyers got around to high-fiving and slapping each other on the back, Marrero had some words for them too. The short version: You assholes are on thin ice, too. Read more »
Sight Of Most Famous And Feared Reporter In The World Put Area Ex-CEO On The Defensive, Totally Anonymous Tipster With Random Interest In Relationship Between Wall Street And The Media Tells Page SixBy Bess Levin
Jon Corzine was not amused to see Fox News’ Charlie Gasparino when he walked into uptown eatery Elio’s this week. A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a bid by former MF Global chief exec Corzine to dismiss investor litigation seeking to hold him responsible for the firm’s collapse. So when Corzine later walked into Elio’s and spied Gasparino, who’s repeatedly hammered him on-air, dining with Stocktwits’ Howard Lindzon, a spy said, “Corzine’s lip went up like the growl of a rabid dog.” [NYP]
Lawyers for Mr. Corzine filed a motion late Tuesday to dismiss a civil case against him brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal agency that regulated MF Global until its demise in 2011. The 30-page motion, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, outlined Mr. Corzine’s defense and leveled a sharp critique of the commission, depicting the agency’s lawsuit as poorly drafted and error prone. “There is no evidence demonstrating that Mr. Corzine knowingly directed unlawful conduct or acted without good faith,” wrote the lawyers from Dechert, Andrew J. Levander and Benjamin E. Rosenberg. “Rather than acknowledge that reality and move on, the C.F.T.C. has clung to its baseless presumptions and manufactured charges of wrongdoing that are supposedly connected to Mr. Corzine.” [Dealbook]
If Charlie Gasparino And The Fox Business Police Were In Charge, Jon Corzine Would’ve Been Nailed Years AgoBy Bess Levin
As you may have heard, earlier today the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Jon Stevens Corzine for (allegedly!) misusing nearly $1 billion in customer funds at MF Global. According to the CFTC, this was able to happen in large part because JSC “did not enhance MF Global’s deficient systems and controls sufficiently to ensure that the firm’s increasing reliance on FCM cash did not result in unlawful uses of customer money.” This pissed off Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino for two reasons, both of which he shared with CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton this afternoon:
1. He wrote about MF Global’s insufficient controls two years ago, ergo, the CFTC could’ve and should’ve brought the charges against Corzine way back then, instead of dragging its ass. In fact, Chaz says that on his watch, we would’ve seen action within one week’s time.
2. No fraud charges? What’s that about? Add it to the list of things CG would get done in his capacity as Senior Kicker of Ass and Taker Of Names. Read more »
The thing is that when you run a brokerage company and it goes and loses $1bn of customer money, the CFTC really ought to charge you with “fail[ing] to supervise diligently the activities of [your] officers, employees, and agents,” no? At least? There are various views of Jon Corzine’s role in MF Global’s efforts to misplace a billion dollars – did he intentionally misuse customer funds? was he aggressive but above-board? just confused? – but no one is going around saying “oh, yeah, Corzine was really on the ball there protecting customer money.” You’re just irreducibly not supposed to lose a billion dollars in customer money, and if you do, “failure to supervise diligently” is pretty much the kindest possible description.
Anyway here is the CFTC press release and complaint against Corzine and Edith O’Brien, the MF Global assistant treasurer and general fall guy. There have been approximately eight thousand lengthy blow-by-blows of the MF Global implosion by now, and I would understand if you didn’t want to read this one; I sure didn’t. Unlike the others, though, the CFTC complaint is enlivened by recorded telephone conversations. In which Edith O’Brien does not come off well: Read more »
Stephen Friedman, who preceded Corzine as Goldman CEO and whose tenure as New York Fed chairman was prematurely ended by the somewhat unsettling sight of said New York Fed pouring bailout money into Goldman’s maw as he worked for both, has reached mandatory retirement age. Read more »