Just a few months ago Jon Corzine was on the short list to be Treasury Secretary, but now he's ignoring a request to testify before a subcommittee investigating the demise MF Global and setting up a showdown that could have major implications for the president's re-election.
The "monomaniac" pursuit of profit, taken to "demoniac" extremes (two words Melville uses repeatedly) is a killing pursuit that can take every last thing -- even the ship itself (read: the nation) -- down.
The most stunning piece of news we're getting in the wake of the MF Global collapse is in the clients of the firm who managed to get away scot-free, with no freezing of accounts or capital -- particularly the accounts of the mega-cap independent oil company Koch Industries.
What makes the impossible tangle of money and politics even more difficult to unravel is the fact that the various interests who hire lobbyists work together to ensure if one lobbyist wins, every lobbyist wins.
About 150,000 customer accounts were frozen by the trustee in charge of liquidating MF Global. These customers face long delays in resolving this mess. You can learn some valuable lessons from this debacle.
The explosion of MF Global continues to cause ripple effects of the type we've seen before, and not in a good way, three years ago. Let me bring you up to date on this largely unreported, but still quite potent and ticking time bomb.
Late last year MF Global urged a federal agency to allow futures firms to invest funds from their customer segregated accounts in foreign sovereign debt. The firm is also now the subject of investigations by several federal agencies.
Ratings downgrades will trigger increased margin calls. This is all business as (un)usual. What isn't usual is diverting money from segregated customer accounts. It's too late to blame "sloppiness, bookkeeping, or accounting."
The unraveling of MF Global provides a stark reminder of why we need to implement the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, a policy that every Republican candidate for president has promised to repeal.