Jon S. Corzine held a top position at the old Goldman Sachs office tower, then worked at the governor’s mansion in New Jersey. More recently he has been working in a small 100-square-foot office in the Flatiron district of Manhattan.
According to an article in the New York Times, “It has been years since the last major high note in Mr. Corzine’s career. In 2011, he faced the ignominy that came with the collapse of the brokerage firm he ran, MF Global, when about $1 billion of customer money temporarily went missing. It ranked as one of the largest Wall Street bankruptcies since Lehman Brothers’.
Now, here in his cramped office, Mr. Corzine is plotting his next and possibly final act: starting a hedge fund. And not just any hedge fund, but one designed to take advantage of the turmoil in the Trump era.”
After being pushed out of Goldman, Corzine won a seat on the United States Senate. He then took control of MF Global when Chris Christie defeated him in the race for New Jersey governor.
In an interview at the beginning of MF Global’s demise, Corzine detailed his plans for a new hedge fund. The NYT says that, “he will seek to anticipate what often seems unpredictable: how the Trump administration and other world leaders will enact policy and, in turn, move markets.
One of his Trump trades, for example, is designed to pay off in the event of a broad decline in the stock market, not unlike what happened Wednesday when shares swooned on Trump-related worries. On the bullish side, he hopes to ride a wave of a corporate-tax overhaul while trading in big tech, banking and industrial companies poised to gain from a policy shift. After straddling the worlds of Washington and Wall Street for decades, Mr. Corzine, a liberal Democrat with a capitalist streak, argues that he is well suited for this strategy. He has mulled a hedge fund for years, ambitions first reported by The Times in 2012, and he believes that the populist movements sweeping the Western world (not just Trump, but “Brexit”) provide an opening.
Last month, the day before the 70-year-old Corzine left on a fund-raising trip he said, “I think I can read between the lines more than a lot of people can on these issues.” He added, “And, you know, I am competitive.”
According to Corzine’s college who his helping him raise a start up goal of around $150 million, Corzine has secured commitments in just the first few weeks of marketing, for tens of millions of dollars. These financial goals are considered modest in the current hedge fund world where one could raise billions of dollars in mere weeks. However, the next several months will be the real test, to see if his fund can actually provide decent returns and expand its base of investors.
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