Bethany McLean

The euro zone’s self-inflicted killer

By Bethany McLean
November 18, 2011

By Bethany McLean
The opinions expressed are her own.

There were a lot of things that were supposed to save Europe from potential financial Armageddon. Chief among them is the EFSF, or European Financial Stability Facility.

Did accounting help sink Corzine’s MF Global?

By Bethany McLean
November 1, 2011

By Bethany McLean
The opinions expressed are her own.

On Monday morning, MF Global, the global brokerage for commodities and derivatives, filed for bankruptcy.  The firm’s roots go back over two centuries,  but in less than two years under CEO Jon Corzine, whose stellar resume includes serving as the chairman of Goldman Sachs, as New Jersey’s U.S. Senator, and as New Jersey’s governor, MF Global collapsed, after buying an enormous amount of European sovereign debt. The instant wisdom is that he made a big bet as part of his plan to transform MF Global into a firm like Goldman Sachs, which executes trades on behalf of its clients, and also puts its own money at stake. Although the size of the wager has received a great deal of scrutiny, the accounting and the disclosure surrounding it have not–and may have played a role in the firm’s demise.