With only 100 members, the United States Senate is often touted as being among the most exclusive clubs in America, second only to the 50 members in the National Governors Association. As a member of both clubs, Jon Corzine is elite among the elites, serving as a U.S. Senator from New Jersey and later as the state's Governor. And we've not even gotten to his tenure as the CEO two Fortune 500 companies -Goldman Sachs (GS) and MF Global.
Corzine makes belonging to 1% look about as ordinary as a cardholder at the local Elk's Lodge. To see a man with more connections than the Delta shuttle get hauled before a Congressional panel to answer questions about his role in one of the biggest bankruptcies in U.S. history, and the estimated $1.2 billion in missing MF Global client funds; it is just too big to ignore.
"I simply do not know where the money is," Corzine explained in his prepared testimony for the House Committee on Agriculture, who are best known for their roll in creating that torturous tome better known as the Farm Bill.
"The only thing this has to do with agriculture is the amount of BS being spread," Macke exclaims in the attached clip. "Has anything changed in the unholy relationship between finance and government?"
Beyond a short-term memory loss exacerbated by not having access to his notes, Corzine also sought to set the record straight on the risk-taking that occurred on his watch at MF Global, saying the firm was only "leveraged 37.3 times," rather than the preposterous 40 times that has been widely reported in the media.
While there will be more hearings, probes, and lawsuits emerging in the weeks and months ahead, it would be presumptive to think his demise will consist of anything more damning than humiliation.
For market watchers like Macke and me, that's a real shame and a wasted opportunity.
"If they take down Corzine, you could maybe have some confidence in these markets," Macke says, knowing full well that's not going to happen.
How do you believe the Corzine/MF Global meltdown will play out? Let us know in the comment section below or visit us on Facebook.
- Jon Corzine
- National Governors Association