"[Corzine] was trying to drive a Volkswagen at 150 miles per hour. And it was just the wrong answer," said the managing director and CEO of J.C. Flowers & Co., which invests in the global financial services industry.
In an interview on CNBC's " Squawk Box ," Flowers said he still considers the former senator and New Jersey governor a friend. He and Corzine worked at Goldman Sachs and rose to become stars at the investment bank before branching out. Flowers was instrumental in getting Corzine in 2010 to run MF Global.
But 18 months later, authorities said, about $1.6 billion went missing from customer accounts after the firm improperly used them to try to plug liquidity gaps as it teetered on bankruptcy. Customers eventually received full recovery, though creditors say they have not.
Corzine could not immediately be located for comment.
-By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere . Reuters contributed to this report.