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Sense on Cents Poll: Is Jon Corzine Guilty?

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 15, 2012 8:11 AM |

I have received endless requests from readers to continue to address the debacle that is MF Global and Jon Corzine. I have also received inquiries from friends and former colleagues on the street wondering why I persist in drilling Mr. Corzine whom they indicate is actually a pretty good guy.

To those in both camps, please allow me to state that the demise of MF Global reaches far beyond one man. I think of the countless numbers of farmers who at this very minute continue to suffer from the consequences of the actions that played out at MF Global. Beyond those individuals, I think about the truth, that prized virtue which remains under attack each and everyday in our once great nation.

In regard to Jon Corzine, a Congressional report released just yesterday points the finger squarely and solely at him for the failure of MF Global.

Truly courageous (NOT) anonymous sources indicate that criminal charges will not be forthcoming against Mr. Corzine or anybody else despite the fact that more than a billion dollars of customer funds somehow found its way out the door during those last fateful days at MF Global in late October 2011.

If the MF Global executives are not going to face the heat in a criminal court of law, let’s take this case to the court of public opinion. For those who may care to review a variety of angles to this tragedy, I welcome submitting, Sense on Cents/MF Global-Jon Corzine.

On that note, please take a mere few minutes and give us your thoughts and opinion on the following simple Sense on Cents Poll (can be as brief as one word answers, yes, no, guilty, not guilty):

1. Do you believe Jon Corzine is guilty of a crime in the process of his managing MF Global?

2. If so, do you believe other executives were involved in aiding and abetting Mr. Corzine?

3. Do you have confidence in the Department of Justice and the CFTC bringing the truth to light in this debacle?

4. Do you believe Jon Corzine’s relationships with the current administration prevent justice from being properly served?

Make no mistake, there is strength in numbers. This blog is read regularly by many in and around Washington. Tell Mr. Corzine, his spokesmen, and his friends in Washington exactly what you think!!

Thank you.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Peter Scannell

    When an executive involved in a transaction that misplaced over a billion dollars of segregated customer funds pleads the fifth regarding the matter, the event remains suspicious at best – good guy, or not good guy.

  • Jim


    I was just looking at your site and noticed the post on Corzine. I speak to DB regularly.

    Anyway, the reason I mention DB is because he has very strong feelings about what kind of person Jon Corzine is. DB reported directly to JC while at Goldman and can disabuse you of any thoughts on JC being a decent human.

    In my opinion, regardless of the damning stories that DB has told me about him, I am pretty certain that JC will rot in hell. I just hope he rots in prison first.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  • LD

    House Republicans released a 97-page report rebuking former MF Global Holdings Ltd. MFGLQ +14.29% Chief Executive Jon Corzine and criticizing the firm’s disclosure of its trading strategy and financial position in the months leading up to its collapse late last year.

    The long-anticipated report, which also had harsh words for credit-ratings firms and the regulators that oversaw MF Global, stopped short of saying anyone at the company broke the law.

    But it told the story of the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history as a preventable affair in which regulators “failed to share critical information,” and the securities and commodities brokerage firm exploited loopholes in rules that put customer funds at risk.

    “Choices made by Jon Corzine during his tenure as chairman and CEO sealed MF Global’s fate,” Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Republican from Texas and the chairman of the investigative subcommittee, said in written remarks.

    Mr. Corzine couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

    The report found that in December 2010, MF Global’s auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, pressed MF Global to disclose more information about a European bond bet the firm had entered into. Mr. Corzine, who had pushed for the bet as a way to increase MF Global’s revenues, felt “ambushed” and unhappy with PwC’s advice, the report said, quoting PwC.

    The report agreed that MF Global should have done more to disclose the important trade, which ultimately sparked the panic that led to the firm’s demise.

    Mr. Corzine has said that the trade was disclosed repeatedly in 2011 and that the board was consulted on the trade and approved its implementation.

    The report also found that MF Global’s use of an alternative calculation of some of its customer assets was a weakness that led to part of the customer shortfall. MF Global customer accounts are still missing an estimated $1.6 billion, according to a trustee. Much of it has been found, but is tied up in litigation.

    The report was supported by Republicans on the subcommittee, but the leading Democrat, Rep. Mike Capuano of Massachusetts, said Wednesday that he wouldn’t support it because he hadn’t had enough time to review it.

    WSJ: House Panel Blasts Corzine, Calls MF Failure ‘Preventable’

  • Bill

    1. Probably. Theft occurred, which by definition means there is a thief.

    2. Yes, if not Corzine then whoever committed the theft.

    3. NO

    4. YES

  • Mark J. Novitsky

    Has ANYONE ever been prosecuted using Sarbanes-Oxley executive disclosure laws? What is it good for? (Rhetorical question)

  • Ron Larson

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No
    4. No

    OK. I’ve never been to law school. So I am totally unqualified in this field. But I can’t comprehend why this is so hard to prosecute.

    Ms. O’Brien transferred customer money out of MF Global. Prosecute her to the full extent of the law. She took the fifth because she knows a crime was committed.

    She welcome to defend herself by demonstrating that Corzine knew what was going on. She can turn state’s evidence in a case against Corzine. Yes, I think they need to put incredible pressure on O’Brien. Life in prison might convince her to start cooperating. Right now she free and living comfortably in Chicago. Heck, I think she is still working for MF Global helping them “unwind”. How insane is that?

    The reason I say NO on 4 is because there has been zero call for Corzine’s head by the Republicans. There are victims of MF Global in many US states. And many of those states have republican governors and AG’s. Yet not ONE state AG has attempted to prosecute for the theft of their citizens’ money. Why has the state of Texas not filed a criminal complaint against Corzine for he did to Texas farmers?

  • KD


    Moving hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t occur without the knowledge and sign off of the top guy, nor does the top guy do it on his own. His arrogance has been documented back to his days at Goldman when he almost brought down or at the very least almost killed their ability to do their IPO. The regulators have continued to show their inability to police what has become a very opaque industry. When it comes to DC/Wall Street connections, two words……money talks!

  • J K Milam III


  • AA Illles

    Corzine broke the law governing CUSTOMER SEGREGATED FUNDS which held my money, which means he stole from me to trade Italian bonds. That is a crime. He should be in jail. His fund raising for Obama is keeping him safe.

  • Eddie

    1) yes 2) after the fact 3) no 4) yes

  • SW

    Yes 1/2/4
    No 3

  • Carmen

    yes on all counts.

    Good job guys!,,,,,

    just for today “Just Be”

  • Vince

    Yes,yes,yes and yes!

  • Peter Watts

    1. Is the Pope catholic? Is JC guilty-You bet your sweet bippy he is.
    2. JC is a bully. He bullied other executives into conspiring with him to pinch client funds. Those who refused to be bullied, threatened or cajoled were removed by JC.
    3. No.
    4. Yes.
    If no criminal charges are brought against JC it will open the flood gates for others to abuse Joe public. But then what does BO care? If he really is a liberal democrat BO should, in his second term, when he has nothing to lose, ensure that JC, and any other who might try similar tricks serve time. US$1.6 billion is not pinched/stolen without someone committing a criminal act.

  • Brewster

    1. Yes. But, it is not up to me. The courts must be engaged to decide.
    2. Yes. No one does this stuff alone.
    3. Maybe, if they are gathering data continuously until they can determine what to do. So, are these agencies working on it?
    4. Of course. It’s always about relationships, until the data shows clearly people must be held to account. Example: David Petraeus.

    I may be Canadian, but my trust in all banks/brokers etc has taken a HUGE hit as a result of this. There is something called Direct Registration System (DRS) of securities that we all must implement to protect ourselves against the next wave of bankruptcies. Google it.

  • Evelyn

    First, I would like to know how much of Mr. Corzine’s own money was transferred out of his personal account at MF-Global to pay the company’s debts. If that number is large, then I would be willing to consider that he may not have known about this fiasco as it happened. But if he did not lose a substantial part of his own investment money, then it is very difficult to believe that he is not guilty.

    Certainly some underlings in the Company must have know that a criminal act was being carried out, whether Corzine did or did not know.

    I have no confidence in either the Department of Justice or any other organ of the Federal Government prosecuting any of the crimes done at MF-Global.

  • Pat

    Yes – there is no way millions could be moved without Mr. Corzine’s guidance and help from his subordinates. If authorities dig deeper, they are certain to find several complicit employees.
    Yes- although I hope that there are repercussions for Mr. Corzine and his sychopants for their actions. Just as there are moral hazards in the misdeeds of the major banks that got bailed out with taxpayer funds, so too are there moral hazards in the likes of MF Global and their “inmoral” use of customer funds. Shame on them, Mr. Corzine and Co. need to be punished as an example to other financial institutions that their haphazard use of customer funds for their advantage will not be tolerated. Rest assured that there will be continued Moral Hazard by financial institutions if MF Global’s actions are not punished. Cash will continue to be idle until investors have faith in the capital markets. Investors need to have a “CLEAR SENSE” of what the tax and regulatory laws will be. Punishment for the executives for MF Global will be a clear sign that regulators are taking the right step in the direction of leveling the playing field for all investors.

  • Michael

    1. Do you believe Jon Corzine is guilty of a crime in the process of his managing MF Global? YES

    2. If so, do you believe other executives were involved in aiding and abetting Mr. Corzine? YES

    3. Do you have confidence in the Department of Justice and the CFTC bringing the truth to light in this debacle? NO

    4. Do you believe Jon Corzine’s relationships with the current administration prevent justice from being properly served? REMAINS TO BE SEEN

  • Hal

    1. Guilty as hell

    2. Yes

    3. No confidence in the dept. of Justice, Eric Holder is a puppet!!

    4. Without a doubt!

  • Frank

    1. Clearly, there is enough evidence to indite and go to trial

    2. Let’s have a trial and find out all who were involved

    3. Absolutely not. There-in lies the problem. Changes are needed at the DOJ and CFTC

    4. I would hope not. I just don’t know

  • Ray


    Your former friends and colleagues could be in the same racket or their heads are in the sand. Can anyone who is knowledgeable about what is going on in this country be truly that naive?

    Even Satan roams around like an angel of light!

    1. Y
    2. Y
    3. N
    4. Y

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