A delicious scandal has erupted on Wall Street featuring former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's company, MF Global.
Aside from making spectacularly stupid investments in Italy's sovereign debt, there is another problem facing Corzine that might not be so easy to explain.
New York Times:
Federal regulators have discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money has gone missing from MF Global in recent days, prompting an investigation into the brokerage firm, which is run by Jon S. Corzine, the former New Jersey governor, several people briefed on the matter said on Monday.
The recognition that money was missing scuttled at the 11th hour an agreement to sell a major part of MF Global to a rival brokerage firm. MF Global had staked its survival on completing the deal. Instead, the New York-based firm filed for bankruptcy on Monday.
Regulators are examining whether MF Global diverted some customer funds to support its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse.
That's a no-no. You can go to jail for that.
In any case, what led to the unaccounted-for cash could violate a tenet of Wall Street regulation: Customers' funds must be kept separate from company money. One of the basic duties of any brokerage firm is to keep track of customer accounts on a daily basis.
Neither MF Global nor Mr. Corzine has been accused of any wrongdoing. Lawyers for MF Global did not respond to requests for comment.
Now, the inquiry threatens to tarnish further the reputation of Mr. Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs executive who had sought to revive his Wall Street career last year just a few months after being defeated for re-election as New Jersey's governor.
Evidently, accurate record keeping at the company was not a high priority task. Regulators believe that a lot of the missing cash is the result of sloppy bookkeeping.
Still, I daresay that Mr. Corzine will have to find some place else to resurrect his career. I hear there's an opening at Al's Used Cars.