Presenting The Three Unscripted Sentences That May Have Cost Jon Corzine His Freedom

Tyler Durden's picture

Today, in advance of their sworn testimony, each witness to the Senate Agricultural Committee's MF Global hearing was requested to disclose what their prepared remarks would be. Sure enough, CME executive chairman Terry Duffy did that, and his prepared testimony can be found here. In and of itself there was nothing unexpected about said speech, the relevant section of which has been transcribed below. Where things got very ugly for Corzine, is when Duffy literally veered from the script, and added three unexpected sentences, catching everyone in the committee off guard (including those who had given up on the testimony which came just after Corzine's) and which according to most news wires could have buried Corzine's defense strategy, exposing him for a liar under oath, and potentially costing him his freedom. The video of the relevant 2 minutes is attached below.

First: here is what the Duffy prepared remarks should have been:

Our auditors returned on Sunday, October 30th because we learned from the CFTC that the draft segregation report for Friday, October 28th, which had been provided to the CFTC that day, showed a $900 million dollar shortfall in segregation caused by an “accounting error.” Our auditors, working with the CFTC, devoted the rest of the day and night Sunday to find the so-called accounting error. No such error was ever found. Instead, at about 2 am Monday morning, MFG informed the CFTC and CME that customer money had been transferred out of segregation to firm accounts. Transfers of customer funds for the benefit of the firm constitute serious violations of our rules and of the Commodity Exchange Act. MFG was taken over by a SIPC Trustee on Monday. However, before the SIPC Trustee stepped in Monday, the segregation report for Thursday, October 27th, which had shown not only full segregation compliance but also $200 million in excess segregated funds, was corrected by MFG to show a deficiency of $200 million in segregated funds. Apparently based on MFG’s segregation reports, additional transfers out of segregation occurred on Friday.

And here is what they ended up being: revised text in bold.

Our auditors returned on Sunday, October 30th because we learned from the CFTC that the draft segregation report for Friday, October 28th, which had been provided to the CFTC that day, showed a $900 million dollar shortfall in segregation caused by an “accounting error.” Our auditors, working with the CFTC, devoted the rest of the day and night Sunday to find the so-called accounting error. No such error was ever found. Instead, at about 2 am Monday morning, MFG informed the CFTC and CME that customer money had been transferred out of segregation to firm accounts. After receiving this information CME remained at MF Global while MF Global attempted to identify funds that could be transferred into segregation to reduce or eliminate the discrepancy. A CME auditor also participated in a phone call with senior MF Global employees wherein one employee indicated that Mr. Corzine knew about the loans that had been made from the customer segregated accounts. CME Group has provided this information, the names of these individuals to the DOJ and CFTC who are investigating these matters. Transfers of customer funds for the benefit of the firm constitute serious violations of our rules and of the Commodity Exchange Act.... etc.

The only question we have is: why?