Jon Corzine

Back in February, Vanity Fair ran a piece on Jon Corzine in the wake of the whole MF Global situation, attempting to determine “what set Corzine on the road to ruin.” Figuring his personal life would be a good place to start, some story lines that were explored included JSC’s relationship with his children and his  divorce from Joanne, who he met in kindergarten and was married to for 33 years. The former was described as having become “increasingly distant” as Corzine made his way up the ranks at Goldman Sachs.  The latter “bitter,” which was not helped by the fact that, according to VF, Joanne had gotten “too close” to a onetime GS employee with whom Corzine had “bad blood,” named David Tepper. Jon’s children happened to catch the article and responded to it today in a letter to the editor, the short version of which is: “YOU KNOW NOTHING.” From the longer version: Read more »

Want to feel close to Jon Corzine but can’t bring yourself to tell people you live in Hoboken? Rather than buying his NJ love shack, perhaps consider placing a bid on a ’87 Jaguar he supposedly once owned and is now on the eBay auction block. Read more »

  • 24 Feb 2012 at 2:18 PM

Jon Corzine’s Weekend Just Got A Bump

The last several months have not been the best of times for Jon Stephen Corzine. His fund went down for the dirt nap. He was forced to shelve his dreams of becoming a count. He made the tearful decision to put his Hoboken hideaway on the market, probably to free up some cash should it become necessary to pay legal fees. And while some pissant MF Global clients have in fact served him with papers, today brings the joyous news that any sleepless nights spent worrying over doing time were all for naught. Read more »

The chief risk officer who was brought in to install risk management systems at MF Global after a rogue trading incident in February 2008 is expected to tell Congress Thursday he outlined his concerns about European sovereign debt trades in the fall of 2010…At the hearing, Michael Roseman is expected to say he “expressed my growing concerns with regard to the potential capital risk associated with the growing positions and began to express caution on the growing liquidity risk,” according to a copy of the testimony reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In mid-September, Roseman told MF Global’s chief executive, Jon Corzine, that he would consult the firm’s board of directors on requests to increase limits on the European trades. According to his written testimony, Roseman is expected to say that by late October of 2010, the positions were approaching $3.5 billion to $4 billion. After discussing his concerns with Corzine and others, the risk scenarios he presented “were challenged as being implausible.” Roseman’s testimony doesn’t specify who aside from Corzine and the board he told of his concerns. [FINS]

Sleep Where Jon Corzine Hath Slept

JSC has reportedly put his Hoboken hideaway on the market, for reasons that are unclear at this time (and which we should not speculate over. Surely there are some who will be quick to suggest he’s downsizing and freeing up cash in case he needs money for legal fees but we have no idea, do we? Maybe the new venture became a success sooner than anyone thought, and he’s moving to a bigger place. Maybe he’s decided to live in France full-time). Some details, for those interested in a place with a story to tell: Read more »

  • 30 Jan 2012 at 6:25 PM
  • Credit

MF Global Was Doing Great Until It Wasn’t

“Every banker knows that if he has to prove that he is worthy of credit, however good may be his arguments, in fact his credit is gone,” but every banker also seems to forget the modern corollary, which is that, if you have to prove you are worthy of credit, however good may be your arguments, don’t do it over email. Here’s someone who forgot that and does it surprise you to find his name in the same sentence as “House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations”?:

A week before MF Global Holdings Ltd. collapsed, its chief financial officer told Standard & Poor’s in an e-mail that the futures broker had “never been stronger.”

S&P provided the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations with an excerpt of the e-mail from MF Global CFO Henri Steenkamp. S&P also informed the panel that Jon Corzine, then MF Global’s chief executive officer, met with its analysts on Oct. 20 to reassure them that his $6.3 billion bet on European sovereign debt was no threat to the firm, according to a Jan. 17 letter obtained by Bloomberg News.

U.S. lawmakers will turn their attention to the role of the ratings companies in the failure of MF Global at a Feb. 2 hearing after summoning Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. co-chairman, to two hearings in December. S&P ranked MF Global as investment grade until its failure, while Moody’s downgraded it to junk status four days earlier.

“MF Global is in its strongest position ever,” Steenkamp told S&P on Oct. 24, according to the letter to Representative Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican, from Craig Parmelee, a managing director at S&P in New York.

Who can understand the workings of an MF Global? Not me. Apparently they had a money vaporizing device, which in its final days was being manned by employees not wholly familiar with its proper operation, and which caused some unpleasantness when it was aimed at clients’ money. Still to a first approximation it seems reasonable to think that poor foolish-sounding Steenkamp was basically right. MF Global had some assets and some liabilities and its assets exceeded its liabilities. It had a short-term reasonably safe bet on some European government bonds that proved reasonably profitable, and that bet was funded with matched-maturity funding that was reasonably stable until it wasn’t. Then everything went south, that matched-maturity funding was pulled, MF Global needed to sell assets and post more collateral to remain in business, and in the confusion someone accidentally turned on the vaporizer. Read more »

The “jokes” clearly being the most humiliating part of the proceedings. Read more »