Corzine's Blackberry Bets Didn't Kill MF Global
That, at least, is the impression one gets after reading the latest journalistic investigation into the firm's collapse, courtesy of The New York Times.
Monday's front page story in that newspaper does not take a clear position on whether the regulators and ratings agencies were justified in pulling the plug on MF Global. On the one hand, the article reports that Corzine "compulsively traded for the firm on his BlackBerry during meetings," and describes him jetting down to Washington to lobby a top Securities and Exchange Commission official.
On the other hand, the account points out that the now-notorious $6.3 billion in European debt trades that led to a conflict with regulators and a fatal downgrade from Moody's Investors Service (MCO) ended up making a profit.An argument might be made that overzealous regulators and ratings agencies brought down MF Global. An argument might also be made that MF Global was brought down by confusion around what is an appropriate level of risk in the wake of the 2008 crisis, leading to crossed signals between MF Global, its auditors, its regulators and the ratings agencies, and probably within those institutions as well. What remains to be determined, however, is how exactly--in MF Global's desperate search for cash to cover its risky bets--customer funds were mingled with those of the company. It is more likely that regulators and law enforcement officials--rather than journalists--will be first to put that puzzle together. If hubris by itself were a crime, Corzine would already be on his way to minimum-security prison. Fortunately for him and for all of us, far more evidence is needed than we have to date. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV