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.


  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?

  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.

  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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