Thursday, December 8, 2011

"LIVE BLOG: MF Global Ex-CEO Jon Corzine Faces Congress"

The WSJ's Deal Journal is on the job:
Jon Corzine is making his first public appearance today since the collapse of MF Global, the investment firm he led until just after its Halloween bankruptcy filing.

Corzine, along with regulators and MF Global stakeholders, is being called to appear this morning in front of a Congressional committee examining what went wrong at MF Global.

In Corzine’s prepared testimony released in advance of the hearing, the former U.S. Senator said he doesn’t know what happened to about $1.2 billion in MF Global client money that has gone missing. Corzine also defended his decision to bet billions of dollars of MF Global money on risky debt of European countries.

The Deal Journal crew in Washington and New York is churning out a running summary and analysis of today’s MF Global hearing in the House. We’ll bring you every Corzine sip of water and sotto voce words of contrition. The hearing is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET, and Corzine’s panel will begin a bit later. (Catch the House Webcast.)
  • Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) opens the hearing with a discussion about the risks and explosive growth of the futures-trading market. MF Global was a big player in futures and commodities trading, which is why the House Committee on Agriculture has oversight of MF Global. (We know you were wondering "why the Agriculture committee?")

    "We're not here to haphazardly point fingers and blame," Chairman Lucas says in his opening remarks. This hearing is about restoring confidence in the futures market, and in finding the root causes of MF Global's collapse.