By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
A major figure in liberal Democrat Jon Corzine’s bankrupt firm, MF Global, used to work for hedge fund operator and Democratic Party financial patron George Soros. MF Global Holdings Ltd., now under FBI investigation, had hired Munir Javeri as Global Head of Trading.
“He is no longer with the company,” a spokesman for the firm informed Accuracy in Media. The spokesman added that he had no contact information for Munir Javeri and couldn’t say when he left the firm. He had been Vice-President of Soros Fund Management from 2003-2004 and was given an “inducement award” in the form of stock options after being hired by MF Global.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are reportedly now missing from the firm’s customer accounts. The firm is said to have experienced major losses because of questionable investments in European bonds.
MF Global was not a hedge fund, although it accepted money from hedge funds such as Cadian Capital Management LLC.
The bankruptcy of MF Global is being described as the eighth-largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history. Steve Schaefer of Forbes says it is “the largest bankruptcy (by assets) of a public company this year, and by a huge margin.”
Meantime, Corzine, MF Global chairman and CEO, has been aggressively raising funds for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. “Obama has had a lot to say about Occupy Wall Street but probably won’t say anything about Jon Corzine,” the Republican National Committee said in a statement.
News reports suggest that Corzine, a former head of Goldman Sachs, simply misjudged the European crisis and that his firm went bankrupt as a result. But Soros, by contrast, has been forecasting the disintegration of Europe for months and suggesting that the only solution is a European treasury that could provide a common source of funds to rescue bankrupt economies.
Liberal Democrats in the U.S. today formally proposed a financial transactions tax to provide more federal revenue. On Thursday, National Nurses United, joined by the AFL-CIO and assorted “community activists,” are holding a demonstration in Washington, D.C. to press for a global version of the financial transactions tax.
Corzine, in addition to being a senator from New Jersey, served as governor, only to be defeated for re-election in 2009 by Republican Chris Christie.
Although Corzine is getting plenty of publicity for the demise of his financial firm, the role of the former Soros money manager has gotten short shrift. The New York Times simply mentioned that Corzine had “replaced old-line traders and brokers with more aggressive hires from Goldman Sachs, UBS and Soros Fund Management.”
The Soros connection raises questions, in view of the hedge fund operator’s controversial sources of cash, avoidance of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, and announced political designs upon the U.S. and the world. Soros is number seven on the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans and his fortune now totals $22 billion, up almost $8 billion from last year.
At the time of Javeri’s hiring by MF Global, news organizations trumpeted the development with such headlines as, “Jon Corzine Has Hired An Ex-Soros Trader To Make MF Global Surge.” The media coverage reflected the media awe for Soros and his hedge fund managers.
“In this newly created role,” MF Global said in a press release about the hiring of the former Soros money man, “Mr. Javeri will work with the firm’s various product lines to manage and enhance the firm’s trading capabilities across asset classes and geographic regions. Additionally, he will oversee the firm’s Principal Strategies Group, a newly initiated proprietary trading operation. The group engages in opportunistic trading across a variety of asset classes. Mr. Javeri has extensive trading and asset management experience. Most recently, he was a partner and portfolio manager at Gandhara Advisors, a multi-billion dollar equity hedge fund. Prior to that, he was a global macro investor at Soros Fund Management.”
Despite the hype, MF Global is now in ruins.
To make matters worse, MF Global had close financial ties to the Federal Reserve. The firm was designated a primary dealer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which means that it participated directly in Treasury auctions and provided analysis and market intelligence to trading desks at the New York Federal Reserve.
At his news conference today, however, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke insisted the Fed was not the supervisor of MF Global and had never given the firm a “seal of approval.”
But a “seal of approval” for Corzine had come from Obama.
The New York Times reports that President Obama’s first major re-election fund-raiser in New York was held at Corzine’s Manhattan home, with tickets going for $35,800 each.
Adding some detail, the news website northnewjersey.com reported that the private 60-person event reportedly raised $2 million for Obama and that Corzine and MF Global associates Bradley Abelow and Joseph Patt then gave separate contributions of $35,800 each to Obama Victory Fund 2012. Corzine “was one of the president’s most elite bundlers, supporters who tap friends and business associates to bring in checks,” The New York Times reported. The article said that he personally had helped Obama raise more than $500,000 this year.
It added that “When White House officials sought to broker a meeting between disgruntled Wall Street executives and Mr. Obama’s new chief of staff this year, they turned to Mr. Corzine, who organized a sit-down at the Four Seasons. Mr. Corzine was on the list. There had even been talk of his being named the next Treasury secretary.”
In addition to the $38,500 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show Corzine made personal contributions of $5,000 to Obama for America on May 19 and $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on September 28 of this year.
For his part, Soros gave $75,000 this year to the House Majority PAC, a so-called “Super PAC” designed to help win back the House majority for Democrats in 2012. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the former House Speaker and now Democratic Minority Leader, supports the financial transactions tax, as does Soros.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at [email protected].