Despite popular perception, the financial industry isn’t actually made up entirely of “investment bankers” but rather of a whole range of people from those who work for months on years to close deals with $100mm fees that are pure profit, all the way down to people who do overnight lending of treasuries to make a spread that, annualized, is in the low-single-digit basis points. I sat somewhere in the middle and, while the M&A hitters usually had better suits, I had a suspicion that the guys shaving basis points for funding had to be more important.
Jon Corzine maybe disagreed. His prepared testimony for his filleting this afternoon has five pages talking about his ill-fated European sovereign bond bets, which conclude with a little note that all of those supposedly ill-fated bonds are doing fine, not that you cared. Then there’s some other stuff. Then there’s a page and a half about what people bought tickets for: the $1.2bn of missing customer money, which he calls by its colloquial nickname, “unreconciled accounts.” Here’s what he has to say about that:
1. “I simply do not know where the money is,” and
2. Can you blame me?: Read more »