Ex Goldman Sachs, Ex Governor, Ex Senator Jon Corzine testified before Congress on the MF Global bankruptcy.
The keywords, intent, I don't know, as I recall, I believe, are classic legalize to make sure one is not brought up later on perjury charges or lying to Congress.
Just astounding to push European sovereign bonds as an investment vehicle, be leveraged 30 to 1 and magically mix consumer funds with investment funds. Every day new details come out, like Corzine lobbying the CTFC to delay implementing rules which would have busted MF Global from ever mixing customer funds with investment monies.
Even more odious, Corzine fired the chief risk officer who was warning them on various risks:
Michael Roseman, who was in charge of controlling risks, expressed serious concerns to both Corzine and MF Global’s board of directors several times last year before eventually resigning.
The revelation that MF Global had $6.3 billion in net exposure to the bonds of troubled countries like Italy and Spain triggered a run on the bank that eventually forced the futures brokerage into bankruptcy on October 31.
Roseman, who was brought on in 2008 to overhaul MF Global’s risk systems after a rogue trader cost the company $140 million, warned that MF Global didn’t have enough cash to buffer against these risky positions and also presented scary scenarios about the ripple effects of a credit rating downgrade, the Journal reported.
However, Corzine argued these scenarios were too extreme and likely impossible and that the company’s exposure was limited and worth the risks, the paper reported. Corzine also suggested he might leave MF Global if the board didn’t trust his judgment about the bets, the Journal said.
Corzine's testimony is so mealy mouthed and denial ridden, the minimization of these events is a dance only a politician could deliver.
Since MF global was also trading in commodities and futures, some of the worst hit are farmers:
The shock waves from the collapse of commodities trading firm MF Global Inc. are hitting hard across rural America, where farmers, ranchers and agricultural business owners are nervously waiting to learn how much money they’ve lost.
Many of the farmers who traded with MF Global, which is being investigated over what federal regulators say is an estimated $1.2 billion that could be missing from customer accounts, used the futures markets to reduce the risks of volatile prices. Locking in prices through the futures market — something farmers have been doing for a century — allows them to plan ahead while knowing what their costs will be.
One of the more outrageous statements was about the missing $1.2 billion. Corzine claims it just got lost in the cracks. Excuse me, but how can people misplace $1.2 billion? Are you seriously going to blame that on a typo?
Moreover, there were an extraordinary number of transactions during MF Global’s last few days, and I do not know, for example, whether there were operational errors at MF Global or elsewhere, or whether banks and counterparties have held onto funds that should rightfully have been returned to MF Global. I am sure that the trustee in bankruptcy, the SIPC receiver, and the regulators are working to answer these questions and to understand precisely what happened during the firm’s last days and hours."
Matt Taibbi says it all, there isn't any point in passing regulations due to the never ending revolving door and whisper information going between governments and those special people who leverage 30 to 1.
This is one of those issues where there's no point in calling for more regulations. No matter what laws we have, we can't have regulatory heads breezily chatting about their enforcement plans with former co-workers who have huge financial interests resting upon their decisions. The Paulson case, in which information about the rescue of Fannie and Freddie was casually disclosed to a group of hedge fund chiefs before the public knew about it, was a far worse thing than what Gensler is accused of. Gensler, despite his Goldman pedigree, has generally gotten good reviews from Wall Street reform types, and has demonstrated a willingness to help tighten up abuses in the derivatives and commodities markets (including walking back deregulatory actions in the derivatives world that he himself had a role in creating back in the Clinton days).
Business Insider summed up the testimony and noted how Jon Corzine wants his notes back. I hope so, Corzine claims to not understand those pesky complex regulations on derivatives.