Former NJ Governor: Oops, You Didn't Want That 1.2 Billion, Did You?
[QUOTE]Corzine to Congress: I Don't Know Where Missing MF Global Money Went
Former New Jersey senator and governor Jon Corzine plans to tell a House committee on Thursday that he "simply" does not know the location of clients' money that vanished from failed investment firm MF Global, the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
In prepared testimony posted on the House Committee on Agriculture's website, Corzine apologized to "all those affected" by the firm's estimated loss of $1.2 billion in client funds.
"I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date," Corzine's prepared testimony read. "I do not know which accounts are unreconciled or whether the unreconciled accounts were or were not subject to the segregation rules."
Corzine, 64, has been publicly silent since MF Global filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 31 after an estimated $1.2 billion in client funds vanished. He resigned as CEO on Nov. 4 after leading the firm for roughly 20 months.
"Considering the circumstances, many people in my situation would almost certainly invoke their constitutional right to remain silent -- a fundamental right that exists for the purpose of protecting the innocent," Corzine's testimony continued. "Nonetheless, as a former United States Senator who recognizes the importance of congressional oversight, and recognizing my position as former chief executive officer in these terrible circumstances, I believe it is appropriate that I attempt to respond to your inquiries."
Corzine said his involvement in the firm's clearing, settlement, payment mechanisms and accounting was "limited," according to his testimony.
"The Members should also understand that the Committee turned down my request to testify voluntarily in January," Corzine's testimony continued. "I had hoped that, by that time, I would have obtained and reviewed relevant records so that I could be more helpful to the Committee."
Thursday's hearing will mark first time in more than 100 years that Congress has subpoenaed a former senator to testify, according to Senate historian Don Ritchie. The occasion blends the two worlds Corzine has occupied for his professional life -- Wall Street and public office.
Corzine said he was "stunned" to learn the funds were missing.
James Kobak, an attorney for the MF Global bankruptcy trustee, said in prepared testimony that the firm is "fully committed" to returning customer funds as quickly as possible.
"It is the Trustee's hope that, for the benefit of customers, the number will come down," Kobak testimony read. "No matter the exact size of the shortfall, however, its probable size is significant and will substantially affect the Trustee's ability to make a 100 percent distribution to former MF Global Inc. customers."
Corzine, a Democrat, represented New Jersey in the Senate from 2001 through 2005. He later served as the state's governor. Before entering politics, he was CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1994 to 1999.
Lawmakers in both parties may have a lot to ask him. Some have heard from farmers, ranchers and small business owners in their districts who are missing money deposited with the firm.
Agricultural businesses use brokerage firms to help reduce their risks in an industry vulnerable to swings in oil, corn and other commodity prices. But MF Global increased risks by making big bets on European government debt - bets that proved disastrous.
Legal experts say Corzine could be held personally liable for misrepresenting to investors the risks the firm had taken. Other top MF Global executives also could face legal jeopardy, they say.
Several class-action lawsuits on behalf of shareholders have been filed against Corzine and three other top executives. A bankruptcy court is consolidating the suits. They accuse the firm and its leaders of making false statements about MF Global's strength and cash balances.
MF Global didn't list its European debt on its balance sheet for all to see. Instead, those holdings were shifted to an "off-balance sheet," deep in its financial statements. Some separate filings with regulators excluded the European debt entirely.
Under a 2002 anti-corporate fraud law -- which Corzine helped write as a senator -- CEOs of public companies must personally certify the accuracy of financial statements.
Corzine also may be questioned about his lobbying against a rule proposed last year by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The rule would have restricted how firms that handle futures contracts, such as MF Global, can invest customer money. Corzine lobbied CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs colleague, and his staff.
Last summer, the CFTC board canceled a vote on the proposed rule. It was adopted this week.
The last time a former senator was subpoenaed to testify by a congressional committee was in 1908. Former Sens. Marion Butler of North Carolina and Matthew Butler of South Carolina were summoned by a House committee over a corporate lobbying scandal, according to the Senate historian's office.[/QUOTE]
I am shocked, shocked and appallled.....that the article doesn't mention that Governor Christie actually snuck into the bank in the dark of night, like a fat ninja, to steal this money from Corzine to give to his wealth fat cat wall street capitalist pitalist pig friends! FOX is SOOOOOOO Biased!!!:mad:
[QUOTE=bitonti;4268913]he's a private citizen who made a bunch of bad bets with private money.[/QUOTE]
If it was simply that...wouldn't he have a little clue about where it went?
I mean...and a 1.2 BILLION loss is a little more than just a bad bet.
[QUOTE][B]PK's GF:[/B] Babe...I'm home.
[B]PK's GF:[/B] WTF?!? Where the f*ck is all of our stuff?!? Were we robbed? Why is the car on cinder blocks? Where is the hardwood floor in the living room? Did someone steal all of our stuff AND our hardwood floor?!?
[B]PK: [/B] Don't worry 'bout it babe. I just made a bad bet on Michigan State this weekend. It's all good...[/QUOTE]
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[QUOTE=bitonti;4268936]my understanding is he was betting on the Euro when everyone else was betting against it. it is alot of money to lose but that's how it goes on wall st. bad options can wipe out cash fast.[/QUOTE]
He's like that one dick who plays the Don't Pass line at a craps table. Ruins the mojo for everyone else.
The fact that he was paying Tony Blair $200K a month through a consulting contract and indirectly paying Bill Clinton money blurs the political vs private lines a bit. Also the fact that he screwed NJ about as hard as he screwed MF makes one wonder.
[QUOTE=Trades;4269036]The fact that he was paying Tony Blair $200K a month through a consulting contract and indirectly paying Bill Clinton money blurs the political vs private lines a bit.[B] Also the fact that he screwed NJ about as hard as he screwed MF makes one wonder[/B].[/QUOTE]
And now some news about the [B]current [/B]Governor of NJ
How come this news never gets to the Tea Party?
[B]Governor Christie's health care reforms will save less next year than expected after fewer than 1 percent of workers chose cheaper insurance options — just as new figures show the cost of providing benefits continues to spike.[/B]
Nearly all of the 397,809 eligible government workers chose to stick with familiar health plans and their higher premiums, Treasury figures from November enrollment show. Reluctant enrollees largely skipped the new choices Christie put forward, which would have reduced the premium cost shared by each worker and their government employers. Actuaries had predicted 2 percent of workers would make the shift this year.
Out of the 309 workers who did change plans — less than 1 percent — only 15 of them chose the highest-deductible plans, Treasury officials said.
[B][U]What the state owes toward state workers' post-employment health benefits grew by $3.5 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, an increase that alone eclipses the predicted 10-year savings of $3.1 billion from the new public-worker health reforms[/U][/B], which also ask workers to pay a larger share of their health insurance costs than ever before.
By the numbers
In June, Governor Christie changed the law on public health benefits, making public workers pay more for their health coverage and offering new kinds of health care options. Here's a look at the numbers behind the changes:
397,809 eligible state, local and school workers in November selected which health plan they wanted for 2012 coverage.
309 selected to change plans.
15 chose the high-deductible plans with significantly cheaper premium costs shared by each worker and their government employers
850,000 workers and family members are affected.
•New Jersey will spend a projected $5.2 billion to cover current and retired state and local workers and their dependents in 2012.
•Current workers will start contributing more next year, paying between 2.25 percent and 17.5 percent of their premiums.
•By 2014, high-paid workers will be required to pay 35 percent of their premiums.
•The state wants all workers to pay an average of 20 percent of health care premiums.
Significant savings may not register by the end of next June, according to Andrew Pratt, a Treasury spokesman.
"It's not going to be a large or significant number," Pratt said Monday.
Health care savings were difficult to estimate, unlike the administration's 30-year projected savings of $120 billion through parallel changes to the public pensions system, Pratt said.
"Over the long term, we expect it to make a serious dent," Pratt said of the savings. "But we don't want to predict it, because it depends on a lot of factors that are either out of our control or too soon to speculate."
Starting next summer, New Jersey state, local and school district workers will be expected to chip in more toward their health care. As the increases come in increments over a four-year period, administration officials expect more workers to select from the set of high-deductible plans.
Workers will end up paying an average of 20 percent of their health premium costs by 2014.
Union leaders who opposed Christie's changes until their passage in June had remained skeptical about whether public workers would try out cheaper health plans this year.
Dudley Burdge, who represented the Communications Workers of America on the State Health Benefits Commission that authorized the plan rates, said enrollment in high-deductible plans would make sense only for the tiny minority of state workers who pay the full cost of their premiums without any state contribution.
"Why would anyone else choose it?" Burdge said Monday of the high-deductible options, which in some cases make employees cover an annual $4,000 in out-of-pocket costs themselves. "It doesn't make financial sense."
Scrutiny of savings
[B]Christie, who touts his success at reforming state pension and benefits over union objections in political forums around the country, has faced scrutiny of how much his policy would actually save.[/B]
In June, when he signed the bill, Christie compared New Jersey's new public health care model to one in Indiana, where more than 4 percent of state workers chose high-deductible plans with generous health savings accounts in its rollout year.
Now, 76 percent of workers there pick those plans, according to Indiana data.
However, New Jersey's plans did not match Indiana's, where popular health savings accounts amounted to thousands of dollars for each employee.
New Jersey offered $300 accounts this year as add-ons to certain plans.
[B]An estimate by the governor's office in October said the health care changes would save the state $100 million this year.
But $90 million of that turned out to be possible only through a new model for retiree prescription coverage, an employee group waiver, which is unrelated to Christie's policy changes and only became available coincidentally this year as part of federal health care changes pushed by President Obama.
Health care costs alone have shot up by 9 percent to 11 percent in recent years, a situation that has left many New Jersey towns struggling to cover those bills while abiding by a cap on their power to annually increase their tax levies.
Despite Democrats' widespread criticism of Christie's plan, few state officials have tackled ways to control the price tags for health care charged by medical providers.
Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, introduced legislation to create a state consumer watchdog to combat health insurance cost increases, through the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of Banking and Insurance.
[QUOTE=quantum;4269135]We're still out looking for that 1.2 billion stolen....erm... missing because of Corzine. Hopefully, he'll end up next to Madoff in Club Fed.[/QUOTE]
You guys pay attention to the stuff you have zero control over. (Ex-Governor leading an outfit that appears to have broken laws and swindled investors)
Then you look the other way when one of your heroes breaks with party orthodoxy. (Current Governor going behind the taxpayers backs to borrow $Billions to add to NJ's already huge debt in order to stimulate the economy)