Archive for the ‘Jon Corzine’ Category

Late afternoon roundup

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

A few headlines updating stories I’ve been following:

5 Senators Who Support Immigration Bill Don’t Know Answer to Key Question About It

As the Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein recently reported: “Under Obamacare, businesses with over 50 workers that employ American citizens without offering them qualifying health insurance could be subject to fines of up to $3,000 per worker. But because newly legalized immigrants wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges until after they become citizens – at least 13 years under the Senate bill – businesses could avoid such fines by hiring the new immigrants instead.”

It didn’t matter, Senate Passes Immigration Overhaul. I’d call it an underhaul, since they didn’t read it.

Welcome to 200 A.D., or, to the agnostic, 200 M.E.

This morning’s no-surprise news: Corzine and Assange UPDATE

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Assange first:
As expected, Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain

Ecuador announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London awaiting the decision.

The move leaves Mr. Assange with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory, meaning he could only leave the embassy for Ecuador with British cooperation.

Huffing and puffing,

Just before the announcement by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account: “No one is going to terrorize us!” The night before, Mr. Patiño said that the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, to which he responded: “We are not a British colony.”

Reading from a government communiqué, Mr. Patiño said: “The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange.”

He added, “There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and that Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.

The article points out that “Mr. Assange arrived at the embassy on June 19, seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden“, but never mind,

Mr. Patiño said he hoped Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy in London for Ecuador — a request Britain has rejected, saying it has a binding, legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations that he sexually assaulted two women.

The British Foreign Office said it was disappointed by the Ecuadorean announcement but remained committed to a negotiated outcome to the standoff. Sweden called the decision “unacceptable” and summoned Ecuador’s ambassador, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Patiño’s news conference was broadcast live on British television and Mr. Assange watched the announcement as it happened, British news reports said. He told embassy staff members: “It is a significant victory for myself and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now.”

Particularly if it serves a propaganda purpose. The Mex Files is expecting the masses to rise,

While war is the extension of diplomacy by other means, that doesn’t mean a shootin’ war, by any means, but the British are likely to pay a very high price for these intemperate claims: I would expect at a minimum that British Embassies throughout Latin America are going to be besieged and quite a few windows broken, and various Latin American (and probably other) states enacting policies and procedures designed to make life difficult for British passport holders (amazing what Immigration and Customs service types can come up with when they want) and I fully expect British-owned businesses (some of which — like HSBC — are already seen as “dodgy” to use Brit-speak ) might be in a zealous application of existing regulatory and oversight functions.

I’m too cynical to get a rise over Assange. Perhaps that’s why The Mex Files refers to my blog as “The far right-wing Latin American website.”

Speaking of cynicism, No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global, surprise, surprise!

In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Imagine that: Prosecutors can’t build a case against a guy who simply doesn’t know where $1.2 billion of his clients money is, but who also managed to raise $500,000 for Obama.

Ed Morrisey‘s asking,

Ahem. What kind of “porous risk controls” allowed MF Global to bet money that wasn’t theirs on Euro-zone debt?

Good question.

But, fret not,

Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans.

Can’t wait to see what he calls it!

Cross-posted in The Green Room.

WARNING: Language not suitable for work
Here’s why Julian Assange is the most annoying and arrogant person in the whole world

Corzine still bundling for Obama

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Yes, siree, Jon Corzine, the guy who simply doesn’t know where $1.2 billion of his clients money is, managed to raise $500,000 for Obama:

The money comes in, but who’s to know from where, and from whom?

Just two days ago, it was reported the Federal Election Commission unanimously found that the 2008 Obama campaign had failed to properly report some $2 million in last-minute contributions

Politico reports that the Obama campaign failed to respond to FEC inquires about whether its failure to report the donations was due to problems with its data-processing systems. Indeed, Team Obama has often been reticent in response to questions about its donor-identification procedures. In 2008, John McCain’s campaign publicly disclosed the identities of its entire donor base, including those contributing under $200, whose names are not legally required to be disclosed. But it was different over in Obamaworld. “We asked both campaigns for more information on small donors,” Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the liberal Center for Responsive Politics, told Newsmax. “The Obama campaign never responded.”

Because of its large number of small donations, the Obama campaign wound up not disclosing the donor names for about half of the $800 million it raised in 2008. Indeed, the Washington Post reported that it went so far as to turn off the Address Verification System (a credit-card verification protocol) on its website.

Meanwhile, the Obama Campaign Flags ‘Less-Than-Reputable’ Romney Donors, since the Obama campaign’s donors are so “reputable” themselves.

Linked by All-American Blogger. Thanks!

Again, why isn’t Jon Corzine in jail?

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

I asked last night,

MF’s Corzine Ordered Funds Moved to JP Morgan, Memo Says, and Email Ties Corzine to Missing Funds

The Oct. 28 email was disclosed in a five-page memo released Friday afternoon by a House Financial Services subcommittee. The panel is investigating what caused an estimated $1.6 billion shortfall in customer funds at MF Global, which collapsed into bankruptcy Oct. 31.

Memo on MF Global

View Document

Edith O’Brien, an assistant treasurer who was among the employees involved in moving money at MF Global, wrote in the email that the $200 million transfer to an MF Global account at J.P. Morgan Chase JPM +1.14% & Co. in London was “Per JC’s [Jon Corzine’s] direct instructions,” according to the memo.

The transfer was needed to fix a $175 million overdraft in the bank account that was making it harder for MF Global to buy and sell securities as it scrambled to survive in late October, according to the memo.

Customer accounts hold both firm money and customer money that isn’t supposed to be touched under federal regulations. In testimony to lawmakers in December, Mr. Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS +1.15% chairman and New Jersey governor who was MF Global’s CEO, said he never directed anyone to misuse customer funds.

“He stands by that testimony,” a spokesman for Mr. Corzine said…

The $200 million transfer is one of three types of key transactions that led to the large shortfall in customer funds, the subcommittee found. The others are intraday loans between MF Global’s futures commission merchant and its broker-dealer and transactions related to the funding of outgoing broker dealer client money, the subcommittee found.

The Journal previously disclosed a $165 million transfer sent to the broker-dealer that came from the customer account.

Is this going to become a she said/he said?

Read the document.

Again, Corzine doesn’t know where the client funds went?

What did Corzine do while MF Global was about to tank?

Friday, January 6th, 2012

He went chateau shopping!

Yup, the guy who doesn’t know where the $1.2 billion of clients’ money went, went house hunting, big time.

You can’t make it up if you try:
On Eve of $41 Billion MF Global Bankruptcy Filing, Jon Corzine Was Château Shopping in France

In an exclusive report from three of Vanity Fair’s premier business writers—contributing editors Bryan Burrough, William D. Cohan, and Bethany McLean—the February issue delivers a sprawling account of the personal and professional battles of Jon Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs C.E.O. and ex-politician whose helming of MF Global resulted in a notorious $41 billion filing for bankruptcy and a $1 billion loss in firm equity. According to the piece, for the fiscal year that ended in March 2011, MF Global recorded day-one gains of $85 million on the former New Jersey governor’s risky trades on European sovereign debt and other assets, thanks to an accounting ploy. Because there were barely any expenses associated with such trades, the gains were almost pure profit. “Corzine would later tell investors that he made a $6.3 billion bet on sovereign debt, but the company’s filings made it look like he had a much bigger long position at the end of June 2011—$11.4 billion, offset by ‘short’ positions of almost $5 billion,” Vanity Fair reports. One analyst says: “If those trades had not been there, MF Global would have been forced to sell or go out of business.”

Go read the whole article, at Vanity Fair, that arm of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Be advised you may need a barf bag.


A couple of New Jersey items, re: Lautenberg & Corzine

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Frank Lautenberg, Senator for my district,
Sen. Charles Schumer’s brother-in-law was quietly nominated this month to a federal judgeship in New Jersey

What no one mentioned is that McNulty, 57, was the last-minute choice of Lautenberg, who had been leaning toward other candidates until surprisingly submitting McNulty’s name to the White House.

Lautenberg and his aides have given no public explanation for the decision to go with McNulty even though the latter had never been publicly touted as a contender for the job, which carries life tenure and a $174,000-a-year salary.

Now comes the good part,

People involved in the judicial-nomination process in New Jersey told The Post they believe the surprise nomination was a naked political maneuver by the 87-year-old Lautenberg to stay in Schumer’s good graces. Lautenberg is worried that party elders will try to push him out of his beloved Senate seat because of his advanced age — something that Schumer, one of the party’s top opinion makers and fund-raisers, would be able to stop.


A reader emails:

While such naked nepotism is usually reserved for filling the village dog catcher’s job, that’s not the aspect of this that caught my eye. This is: Sen. Lautenberg is 87 years old and is so pathetically desperate to remain attached to the federal teat that he would do something so obvious as this. I know the Obama economy is pretty ugly, but what’s the matter Frank, afraid you won’t be able to find a job if you get pushed out?

Please leave me anonymous if you mention this, I’m an at-will government employee in an adjacent navy blue state.

The addiction to power — and, even more, to a feeling of importance — is stronger than the addiction to heroin or cocaine. And more destructive, to society if not to the addict. . . .

And an update on our former governor,
Surprise! Obama Still Pocketing Corzine Cash, according to the New York Post,

Before the MF Global episode, Corzine had been a key figure for Wall Street contributions to Obama and was openly being considered for the top spot at the Treasury Department in a second Obama term.

Corzine is not the only connection between MF and Obama. Three other MF honchos, including Corzine’s second-in-command, Brad Abelow, and his wife have given $5,000 to the president’s re-election campaign and another $30,800 to the DNC.
In addition to Abelow, the other MF donors are former board member David Schamis and Joseph Patt.

Did Jon remember where the money went yet?

So out of almost a million dollars connected to Corzine, which may or may not include part or all of the other $150,000 from MF Global, Obama and the DNC are returning only $70,000?



50 political quotes, MF Global, North Korea, and why I’m doing a roundup

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

John Hawkins lists his 50 favorite political quotes of the year, and I thought it’s time to do a roundup. It brings traffic, I’ve been doing a lot of things not related to blogging, and the to-do list is still not half done.

Jamie Glazov usually has interesting guests, but this time his guests got into a fight. I just hope Jamie doesn’t decide to run for mayor of Cincinnati.

The College Conservative remembers My Time at Walmart: Why We Need Serious Welfare Reform, via Gerard, who also has the Best Magazine Cover of 2011.

Corzine ought to be jailed, MF Global Transfer Draws Scrutiny
Securities Firm Shifted $200 Million to Company Account at J.P. Morgan; Questions From the Bank

The transfer was small compared with the estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds still unaccounted for more than seven weeks after MF Global collapsed. The bankruptcy trustee for MF Global’s U.S. brokerage unit has said recovering money from the company’s trading partners would be easier if counterparties knew they were accepting funds belonging to customers. It isn’t clear how MF Global responded to J.P. Morgan’s Oct. 29 letter. The letter hasn’t been publicly released by regulators or investigators.

The letter indicates that J.P. Morgan officials knew the money came from segregated customer accounts, because it specifically asked whether the transfer of funds from customer accounts was compliant with regulations. Customer accounts can contain both customer and firm funds. On Oct. 30, or the day after the letter was sent, MF Global alerted regulators to a shortfall in customer funds. It filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31.

The EPA’s unconscionable war on fracking, but particularly on companies that produce fossil fuels. I can not understand how it’s in the USA national interest to not exploit our own natural resources and remain dependent on foreign oil.

In the Latin America beat,
Stacy has the latest on Mercosur and the Falklands. Mercosur also signed a trade deal with the Palestinians, but postponed allowing Venezuela to join Mercosur. They must be waiting for more of Hugo’s largesse.

Argentinian farmers are investing in other countries, but Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy company said Wednesday it is buying Argentine farm operator Fondomonte S.A. for $83 million in a bid to secure animal feed. (h/t GoV)

Maria Conchita Alonso ran into Sean Penn and told him exactly what she thought about his support of oil-tyrant Chavez

Via Babalu, After Kim Jong-il’s Death, Cubans Wait for Castro’s Turn. Meanwhile, Cuba mourns Il’s death

A book of condolences was opened at the North Korean embassy in Havana, with a big photo of the dead leader and flowers in the entrance.

Nicaragua, Venezuela and President Mugabe express their sorrow, too. Not surprisingly, they celebrate tyranny.


Soros profits from MF Global money

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Jon doesn’t remember where the money went, but
Corzine’s Loss May Be Soros’s Gain
Investor Places Big Bet on Euro Debt, Buying MF Global Former Holdings

Investor George Soros’s family fund bought about $2 billion of European bonds formerly owned by MF Global Holdings Ltd., the very debt that helped force the securities firm to file for bankruptcy protection Oct. 31, according to people close to the matter.

The 81-year old investor, together with his investment team at Soros Fund Management, purchased the bonds for below the market price at the time, in a transaction involving JP Morgan Chase & Co., according to these people. Other large investors also bought some of these European bonds once held by MF Global, according to people close to the matter. A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

Mr. Soros’s firm still holds the majority of the positions it acquired, the people said.

Sounds like a bailout in the making…


Clinton was paid $50,000/month by MF Global

Monday, December 5th, 2011

supposedly for “helping Corzine improve his image as a CEO“. Makes you wonder if that included learning how to comingle funds

A former MF Global employee accused former president William J. Clinton of collecting $50,000 per month through his Teneo advisory firm in the months before the brokerage careened towards its Halloween filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Teneo was hired by MF Global’s former CEO Jon S. Corzine to improve his image and to enhance his connections with Clinton’s political family, said the employee, who asked that his name be withheld because he feared retribution.

“They were supposed to be helping Corzine improve his image as a CEO—I guess you can tell how that went,” he said. Corzine resigned as CEO and chairman November 4.

Before Corzine joined MF Global in May 2010, the firm was a smart and well-run commodities broker, a culture that was turned upside-down by his leadership style, he said.

“The traders would be shaking their heads,” he said. “They would come back to their desk and say, ‘Well, I thought we were going to do this—but Corzine would come by and do something else all by himself,’” he said.

The Teneo contract with MF Global lasted at least five months, he said. “The board cancelled it after Corzine resigned.”

Why isn’t Corzine awaiting trial yet?

And, by the way,
The Corzine Democrats: What Did They Say About Abramoff?


Somebody stands to make a bundle if Corzine takes the job

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

As the US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government’s debt ceiling was lifted, noted tax cheat Timothy Geithner may resign,

After the resolution of the debt-ceiling impasse, rumors have been flying that the last senior member of Barack Obama’s original economic team will call it quits.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner refused to answer questions about his plans yesterday on ABC’s Good Morning America

The rumor is that Jon Corzine may take the job.

Interestingly, MF Global, Corzine’s employer, just added what the Wall Street Journal calls a “quirky clause“,

Mr. Corzine’s current employer, MF Global Holdings Ltd., is promising to compensate investors who buy his company’s bonds with an interest-rate bump if the chief executive and former U.S. senator jumps ship for a government job. In essence, the securities deal assigns a value on the man filling the corner office: a one-percentage-point cherry atop the $300 million bond offering, or up to $15 million.

And not just “any job”, either (emphasis added),

According to a “Key Man Event” clause in the bond prospectus, the carrot doesn’t kick in for any old government job. Rather, it gets paid only if Mr. Corzine leaves MF Global “due to his appointment to a federal position by the President of the United States,” and the Senate confirms him before July 1, 2013. That is nearly six months into the next presidential term.

MF Global’s value hasn’t improved during Corzine’s tenure, but it certainly looks like someone will make a bundle from his departure.

The NYT headline reads, “Pressured by White House, Treasury Secretary Is Expected to Stay at Post“, but, as Doug Mataconis points out,

The New York Times gives this story the headline “Pressured by White House, Treasury Secretary Is Expected to Stay at Post,” but from the tone of the article it’s pretty clear that this is what the White House officials quoted in the story hope is the case. Indeed, the story itself may be an effort to turn the lobbying of Geithner up a notch.

Clearly, the NYT is not in the MF Global orbit.