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Hundreds Of Millions Missing From MF Global, ‘New York Times’ Reports

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
November 1, 2011

Not only has MF Global had to file for bankruptcy protection, now there’s this news about the securities firm run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D):

The New York Times reports that:

“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 Times adds that “regulators are examining whether MF Global diverted some customer funds to support its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse.”

Bloomberg News says that “the holding company for the broker-dealer run by former New Jersey governor and ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. co- Chairman Jon Corzine, told regulators yesterday about deficiencies in accounts that it managed for clients in the futures market, the CFTC and Securities and Exchange Commission said in an e-mailed statement.”

And the news service adds that:

“Corzine, 64, now faces a regulatory probe as well as a bankruptcy. He wagered $6.3 billion of the firm’s own money on sovereign European debt in a bid to increase profits. Instead, the firm reported a $191.6 million quarterly loss on Oct. 25. … Under CFTC regulations, futures brokers that trade on exchanges are required to keep their clients’ collateral, often cash or securities, separate from their own accounts.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the firm “collapsed into bankruptcy … when a potential buyer bolted over a discrepancy of hundreds of millions of dollars in the beleaguered securities firm’s books, people familiar with the matter said.”

Zoe Chace of NPR’s Planet Money team reported for Morning Edition on the “sad tale of MF Global.” She says the firm bet big on European sovereign debt, buying millions of dollars’ worth of debt from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and others — and got burned. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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