MF Global CEO Forgot His Farm Roots

December 17, 2011

There are plenty of stories about MF Global and the $1.2 billion dollars that has disappeared and left many rural families devastated. As if things weren’t hard enough these days!

The more I read, the more I kept wondering – what’s the story behind Jon Corzine, the  MF Global CEO?  Is he just another guy, who lost sight of  reality as his power and bluff grew larger than life? A profile of Corzine in the December 12 issues of Newsweek offers personal insight into Corzine’s life as a financial risk taker, but even more importantly it explains where it came from.

Much to my surprise, I learned that Corzine was raised on a farm – a very small farm. His Dutch ancestor started in New York and eventually headed west to settle in Illinois. After acquiring 2,500 farming acres, Corzine’s grandfather began hedging in commodities in the 1920s, got into banking and politics. And, you guessed it, the Great Depression changed everything.

Jon Corzine’s father witnessed the Depression losses of his own father and committed himself to a no-risk lifestyle. His choices meant that the current MF Global CEO  grew up on 120 acres of leased farm land. His dad never had a credit card. Jon was determined to be different. He thrived on financial risk and money deals, leaving Illinois for New York’s financial world. Along the way, he managed  to be elected to the U.S. Senate and become governor of New Jersey. Not surprisingly, he thought he had a golden touch.

After reading this article, I’m thinking we need to see a personal ancestry profile of anyone who runs for office, much less handles our money. The writing was on the wall.

Read the Newsweek Article : The Rise and Fall of MF Global Chief Jon Corzine

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