Corzine Wasn’t Too Close with CFTC Chief, Review Finds

Jon Corzine

They crossed paths at Goldman Sachs, the U.S. Senate, New Jersey campaign events and Princeton University. One man once borrowed the other’s number in the New York Marathon.

Still, Jon Corzine, the former chairman and chief executive officer of failed brokerage MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGLQ), and Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, didn’t have a close relationship, an internal analysis by CFTC lawyers found. They didn’t attend each other’s weddings, Corzine didn’t go to the bat mitzvahs of Gensler’s daughters and they haven’t socialized together in 14 years.

Bloomberg reports that the agency’s review of Gensler’s links to Corzine and other MF Global executives culminated in a 15-page 'confidential memorandum' dated Dec. 13. The lawyers, who interviewed only Gensler, concluded that the chairman’s Nov. 8 decision to recuse himself from the agency’s probe of MF Global wasn’t necessary.

'From a legal and ethical perspective, Chairman Gensler’s participation in commission matters involving MFGI would not be improper', Dan M. Berkovitz, general counsel and ethics officer, and John P. Dolan, counsel and alternate ethics official, concluded in the memo.

The review, a copy of which was obtained through a public records request, was conducted while Gensler and the CFTC were under criticism from lawmakers for their oversight of MF Global, which sought bankruptcy protection Oct. 31. The failure, along with the recent collapse of Peregrine Financial Group Inc., undermined confidence in the futures industry and has spurred calls for new regulations.

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Corzine Wasn’t Too Close with CFTC Chief, Review Finds

 

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