The Smartest Things We've Read About the Demise of MF Global


Karl Marx famously said that "history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

The very idea that MF Global could blow itself up by taking excessive risks, so soon after the financial crisis of 2008, surely places it in the category of farce. Sadly, there's nothing funny about this debacle to the customers, employees, and shareholders who were negatively affected by it. A mere three years after the collective folly of the financial crisis, and we appear to be back at square one.

When he announced his resignation on Friday, MF Global CEO Jon Corzine said he felt "great sadness for what has transpired." Yes, it is very sad on a number of different levels. It is also outrageous and incomprehensible and unacceptable, too. Americans deserve to know exactly what went wrong here, and we intend to follow this story very closely in the coming weeks and months. Below are some of the finest things we've read about this story so far.

Insightful commentary
"Corzine Crashes Like It's 2008," Joe Nocera, The New York Times

"Corzine Forgot Lessons of Long-Term Capital," Roger Lowenstein, Bloomberg

"The MF Global Gamble and Jon Corzine's Lost Weekend," Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

"Sloppiness Dooms Corzine," Charlie Gasparino, The Daily Beast

"Why the MF Global Crisis Matters More Than You Think: 3 Key Lessons," Sterling Wong, Minyanville

"MF Global: A Success Story," David Weidner, The Wall Street Journal

"Did accounting help sink Corzine's MF Global?" Bethany McLean, Reuters

"Was MF Global brought down by an accounting play?" Felix Salmon, Reuters

"Corzine's tone-deaf statement," Felix Salmon, Reuters

"MF Global 2010: Save us from MF Global 2011," FT Alphaville

"The two faces of Jon Corzine," Matthew Goldstein, Jennifer Ablan, and Jed Horowitz, Reuters

Outstanding analysis
"It's Lonely Without the Goldman Net," Andrew Ross Sorkin, DealBook

"Fun While It Lasted...," Theo Francis, Footnoted*

"The biggest losers in MF Global's bankruptcy," Nin-Hai Tseng, CNN Money

"Why MF Global's auditor isn't liable to brokerage investors," Alison Frankel, Thomson Reuters

"MF Global: Likely Among the 10 Biggest Bankruptcies Ever," Shira Ovide, Deal Journal

"MF Global: 99 Problems And Auditor PwC Warned About None," Francine McKenna, Forbes

"6 Things no one will tell you about MF Global," Brett Arends, MarketWatch

"Downfall of MF Global," John Gapper and Izabella Kaminska, Financial Times

"What happened at MF Global," Felix Salmon, Reuters

"MF board seen beholden to Corzine as risk grew," Joseph Giannone, Nanette Byrnes, and Jessica Toonkel, Reuters

"The Trade That Killed MF Global," John Carney, CNBC

"Sad Proof of Europe's Fallout," Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times

"MF Global Clients Fear for What They Left," Paul Sullivan, The New York Times

"Goldman Alumni Really Are Everywhere," Brendan Intindola, Deal Journal

"MF Global: History From IPO to Bankruptcy," Jacob Bunge, Deal Journal

"MF Global and echoes of Repo 105," Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville

"Is Jon Corzine going to jail?" Dan Primack, CNN Money

And finally, here are some key documents to consider as you follow this story:

Definitive proxy statement, SEC document, Schedule 14A, 2011

Bankruptcy filing

MF Global's Q2 2012 results

Most recent 10-K, SEC document, 2011

Client Asset Protection, MF Global

Letter from U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Please share links to any additional articles or documents that you may have found in our comments box below.

At the time thisarticle was published John Reeves does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.