First Posted: 01/30/2012 12:10 pm Updated: 01/30/2012 6:28 pm
Jon Corzine still doesn't know where the money is, and it seems nobody else does either.
A "significant amount" of the missing $1.2 billion in MF Global customer funds may have been "vaporized," the Wall Street Journal reports, citing "a person close to the investigation" into the missing funds. The money could have gotten lost during chaotic trading leading up to the brokerage firm's bankruptcy filing.
Yet only one week before the brokerage collapsed, MF Global's CFO sent an email to Standard & Poor's saying the company had "never been stronger," according to Bloomberg.
Some officials reportedly believe that despite public claims to the contrary, the firm was growing more concerned about its European bets, employees dipping into customer money and using it to unfreeze assets at banks and meet demands for more collateral, according to the WSJ.
The report comes nearly two months after former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine, once chief executive of Goldman Sachs, told a Congressional panel "I simply do not know where the money is." The firm filed for bankruptcy in October, after risky bets related to the European debt crisis compromised its position. Corzine resigned shortly after the bankruptcy and the company laid off more than 1,000 workers.
The bankruptcy filing also spawned investigations by multiple federal agencies into allegations that the firm misused hundreds of millions in customer funds. In addition to Corzine, the company's CFO and COO also told lawmakers that they don't know where the missing funds are. Some of the missing money may have been found at a British JPMorgan Chase in November, according to The New York Times.
That hasn't stopped the government from acting. Roughly two months after the extent of the firm's collapse was made clear, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal regulator tasked with overseeing the derivatives market, approved "the MF Global rule" in order to avoid similarly improper uses of client money in the future, according to The New York Times.
Even if the rest of the money turns up -- a prospect that seems unlikely -- Corzine's reputation may never recover. The former New Jersey Governor, Senator and CEO of Goldman Sachs has become somewhat of a pariah on Wall Street since the meltdown. Some of his former employees created a pinata featuring a photo of him at a holiday party and President Obama gave back tens of thousands of dollars of campaign donations from Corzine.