Republicans blame Corzine in MF Global failure

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm •  Published: November 14, 2012
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"Corzine dramatically changed MF Global's business model without fully understanding the risks associated with such a radical transformation," Neugebauer said.

The GOP lawmakers said the panel's staff interviewed more than 50 witnesses and reviewed 243,000 documents from MF Global, former employees of the firm and federal regulators.

The Republicans said Corzine acted as the firm's chief trader in practice, though not in name, and walled off his trading from the firm's review of its potential risks.

Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts, who leads the minority Democrats on the subcommittee, said he isn't supporting the report on the investigation mainly because he hasn't had enough time to review it and discuss it with his Democratic colleagues.

"While I agree with a number of the report's observations and recommendations, others require additional commentary," Capuano said in a statement.

Corzine rose from the trading floor of Goldman Sachs to become the investment bank's co-chairman. He then ran successfully for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and later served one term as governor of New Jersey.

Corzine took the top job at New York-based MF Global after losing a bid for re-election as governor in 2009. He stepped down as MF Global's CEO on Nov. 4, 2011, days after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection.

For months, regulators investigated whether the missing customer money was improperly used to cover MF Global's short-term needs when its trading partners lost confidence in the firm and demanded cash owed them.

Much of the missing money belonged to farmers, ranchers and other business owners who bought and sold financial contracts with MF Global to reduce their risks from the fluctuating prices of corn, wheat and other commodities.