Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Corzine's MF Global Declares Bankruptcy

Last Thursday's post concerning Jon Corzine's bungling at MF Global evidently drew plenty of traffic yesterday, despite my being unable to post due to power outages.

Imagine my horror though, reading this weekend, pre-Chapter 11 filing, of- you guessed it- J. Christopher Flowers' potential bid for the firm's wreckage.

Did I not predict this one? I did, in this passage from that post,

"The only thing that could top this week's MF Global news is to learn that, as rumors swirl regarding the firm now being an acquisition target, we learn that Chris Flowers' private equity shop is involved in such an acquisition. I don't know what portion of MF's equity is owned by Flowers, but it's just possible that half the value of the rest of the firm, which would now not be paid to own 100% of the firm, might well be more than the losses Flowers has just taken on his share of MF Global.

That would be just too much, wouldn't it, if it occurred? Watching a private equity guy install a partner in a firm on the board of which one of his representatives sits as CEO of the company. Then seeing said CEO dramatically and quickly lop off half the value of the publicly-held firm. Followed by the private equity guy opportunistically buying the now-tainted firm for half of what it would have cost him last year."

What's curious is how silent all the cable news media are about this. Neither CNBC nor Bloomberg, nor even the Journal, bothered to note Flowers' original intrusion into MF Global's board to force Corzine's selection as CEO. Nor do any of them now note how Flowers must have been on board with Corzine's strategy.

Regarding that strategy, I heard it lampooned on CNBC last night as having basically gone all in on a specific European debt play. It's hard to believe Corzine would be so stupid, or Flowers would consent.

Funny, though, isn't it? All that silence on the original Corzine-Flowers connection? Even now they don't remind us that Corzine is a partner in Flowers' group.

Or is it more of being muzzled to power, because nobody with a network with hours of programming to fill wants to cross a private equity mogul like Chris Flowers?

Perhaps the Chapter 11 filing will take Flowers out of contention for swallowing the whole of MF Global on the cheap. We can only hope so.

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