November 04, 2011

While the new job numbers showed that Americans saw an increase of 80,000 new jobs in the month of October -- not great but we'll take it -- there is bad job news for one guy from New Jersey: Jon Corzine of MF Global.

And one man who has his hands full is Gary Gensler, a former employee of Corzine's at Goldman Sachs and now the current head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. (Read Ivy Schmerken's cover story for how Gensler thinks in this age of regulation and transparency.)

Back to MG Global. Last night the embattled former New Jersey governor and head of Goldman Sachs announced that he was stepping down as CEO of the securities firm, which filed for Chapter 11 this week. MF Global is on the brink of total collapse after a risky bet on European debt -- Europe won't let Italy and other countries default, right? -- and was soon caught short. How short? There is still roughly $630 million in client cash that is missing and regulators are looking to see if they were used to cover those bad bets.

While it's easy to feel some satisfaction at Corzine's fall since he should have known better, you have to admit that has made an exit with some class. In his resignation announcement, Corzine said he is not going to accept his $12 million severance package, and he will cooperate with the gathering horde of regulators. "I intend to continue to assist the company and its board in their efforts to respond to regulatory inquiries and issues related to the disposition of the firm's assets," Corzine said in a report from The New York Times DealBook.

In further proof that Wall Street is sometimes smaller than Main Street, the person looking into Corzine and his practices at MF Global is a former colleague and employee of Corzine's from his Goldman Sachs glory days. As head of the CFTC, Gary Gensler was one of the first regulators to raise a red flag on MF Global and its suspicious activities.

And Gensler isn't the only person leading an investigation the bankrupt securities firm. He'll be joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For more on Gensler, check out OTC Derivatives Coming Under Regulatory Scrutiny and Catching Up On OTC Derivatives Reform.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phil Albinus is the former editor-in-chief of Advanced Trading. He has nearly two decades of journalism experience and has been covering financial technology and regulation for nine years. Before joining ...