If MF Global CEO Jon Corzine could’ve stayed solvent going long on eurozone peripheral sovereign debt back in 2011, he would be the stuff of Wall Street legend right now.
As Deutsche Bank analysts Stuart Kirk, Rineesh Bansal, and
Gaël Gunubu point out in a note, the bond market ultimately turned in Corzine’s favour.
From the note:
Spanish officials must giggle at being able to borrow at 4 per cent for half a century. One man surely sobbing into his beard however is ex-MF Global boss Jon Corzine… How tantalizingly close he was to being hailed the cleverest man on the planet. Just one month later Italian yields peaked, then Portugal’s did, then Spain’s – before Mario Draghi’s speech began the mother of all bond rallies.
So Corzine was right, but his timing was wrong — and his execution was poor, to say the very least.
The former New Jersey Governor and CEO of Goldman Sachs was brought down not only by his highly levered $US7 billion position, but also by the scandal that followed.
After MF Global collapsed, it was investigated for illegally using customer funds to avoid what was ultimately a $US1 billion margin call.
The details revealed in the investigation were brutal. According to one former employee, the final days at MF Global were a “total cluster—.” Corzine and other executives were called to testify before Congress about the affair.
Last November the firm was ordered to pay $US1.2 billion to wronged customers and handed an additional $100 million in fines to the CFTC.