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MF Global: Spreading the Blame Around

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 4, 2012 9:46 AM |

I have tarred and feathered Jon Corzine sufficiently over the course of the last year for the debacle that unfolded on his watch at MF Global.

On that note, I welcome reading this morning that some tar and feathers are being applied to others who should have been in a position to stop the excessive leverage which brought down the MF Global house.

Who were these other individuals and entities? Let’s navigate as The Hill addresses a topic which many in Washington and on Wall Street would like to keep conveniently under the rug.

The Hill writes on a House Democrat report released just yesterday, Corzine Not Only to Blame for MF Global Collapse,

Republicans were wrong to lay blame for the high-profile collapse of MF Global primarily at the feet of its former head, Jon Corzine, according to a report from House Democrats released Monday.

Rather, there are plenty of people who share the blame for the futures firm’s collapse, including MF Global’s board and financial regulators, Democrats claim in their dissection of the bankruptcy that left more than $1 billion in customer funds missing.

(Who was that regulator? The WSJ indicates it was FINRA in a writeup released this morning, MF Global ‘Blatantly Misled’ Regulator.)

The report comes from Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), the ranking member of the Oversight subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. Capuano failed to sign on to a report issued in November by Republicans on the panel, saying he did not have enough time to review its findings and some of the points required initial commentary.

Capuano agreed that Corzine was partly to blame, but argued that the GOP’s findings overshot the mark.

“A reasonable person could read the majority staff report and conclude that Corzine was solely responsible for MF Global’s collapse and the loss of customer funds,” the addendum stated.

Capuano argued that the firm’s board bears a “significant share” of the responsibility by approving Corzine’s actions and setting risk parameters. Furthermore, he contends that no person could have done what Corzine did if rules had been tighter and enforcement more stringent.

Does this all sound like a broken record to you? No doubt. What is the tune that continues to play on and on to the point that Americans have become numbed to the repetitive and monotonous noise?

Self-regulation does not work on Wall Street.

Does anybody think differently?

Navigate accordingly.

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.

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