Corzine pushed bet on Europe debt to $11.5B
Jon Corzine bet $11.5 billion on European sovereign debt in his bid to rebuild profits at MF Global Holdings Ltd., almost twice the net amount disclosed to investors, and relied on short-term hedges that left the firm exposed to larger losses if they couldn’t be rolled over.
A former New Jersey senator and governor, Corzine joined MF Global in March 2010 with a plan to remake the company into an investment bank in the image of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he had been co-chairman before entering politics. He repeatedly ratcheted up his wager on the debt of countries including Italy and Spain, booking gains along the way, according to filings. The short-term hedges matured before the bonds, meaning the net amount at risk could increase if investors lost confidence in either European sovereigns or MF Global and new hedges couldn’t be bought.