Jon Corzine, Rogue Trader

Posted by on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:52 am

I still can’t quite believe this, although it does seem to be true — did Corzine really have his own personal trading account while also being CEO, both at Goldman and at MF Global? At Goldman, which was still a partnership when Corzine was in charge, there would at least have been serious limits on what he could trade, and the bank was big enough to be able to withstand losses in his personal account. But at MF Global, where he was charged with turning around the entire company, the picture of the CEO trading on his Blackberry during meetings is, frankly, bonkers.

Does this happen elsewhere? Are there other brokerages where the CEO has his own personal P&L line in the trading books? Citadel, perhaps.* But this is not a good idea. You want the CEO encouraging the rest of the trading desk, not competing with them. And you want the CEO judging himself by the performance of the firm as a whole, rather than obsessing over the profits and losses he’s personally responsible for.

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