Lessons Not Learned at MF Global

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May 1, 2012
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Former MF Global Holdings Ltd. Chairman and CEO Jon Corzine arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, to testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to examine MF Global bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Once a sleepy brokerage firm dealing with financial products like corn futures and pork bellies, MF Global appeared to be rejuvenated when Jon Corzine — a Marine, former senator, former governor, one of Wall Street’s top bankers and a man on the shortlist to succeed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — joined as CEO in 2010.

But last October, with the financial crisis still fresh, MF Global failed spectacularly, filing for bankruptcy after a $6.3 billion bet on European sovereign debt went bad. The firm’s downfall reveals lessons not learned and the danger of the revolving door between politics and finance, as FRONTLINE’s Martin Smith reports on today’s Marketplace.

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