Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I want to be a rogue chemist

Via Felix Salmon, some fairly interesting tidbits about MF Global (the now-bankrupt commodity trading firm) and its CEO, John Corzine. Apparently, he was personally doing trades with his firm's money:
Not to be outdone, Mr. Corzine was the most profitable trader in that team, known as the Principal Strategies Group, according to a person briefed on the matter. Mr. Corzine traded oil, Treasury securities and currencies and earned in excess of $10 million for the firm in 2011, the person said… 
His obsession with trading was apparent to MF Global insiders over his 19-month tenure. Mr. Corzine compulsively traded for the firm on his BlackBerry during meetings, sometimes dashing out to check on the markets. And unusually for a chief executive, he became a core member of the group that traded using the firm’s money. His profits and losses appeared on a separate line in documents with his initials: JSC…
It's difficult to think what this would be like at a pharma company; it'd be as if the CEO of Merck or Pfizer had his own hood in the lab or was personally directing clinical trials (right?) Wow.

3 comments:

  1. Those "back of the hood" ninja experiments would seem a lot more relevant if the CSO were running them in the back of the board room. Right?

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  2. Aren't CEOs of both MRK and PFE lawyers?

    Not that I wish anyone harm, but it would be fun to watch them do a 10 g LiAlH4 reduction or maybe and ortho0lithiation.

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  3. Alexander Shulgin's work at Dow is probably the closest example. They essentially let him do whatever he wanted to, and he chose to investigate psychoactive drugs. There was then a parting of ways.

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