Hire Wire Jan 10 2012

MF Global Employees Take a Whack at Corzine

By julie steinberg

Former MF Global employees in Chicago recently had the chance to vent their frustration against Jon Corzine -- by smacking him with a small wooden bat.

At a post-Christmas party Dec. 29, former employees took turns smashing a star-shaped pinata with pictures of Corzine taped on it, according to people who attended the party. Unfortunately, those looking for the missing $1.2 billion in customer funds came up empty-handed: When the pinata broke open, all it contained was slips of paper with "IOU" written on them.

A spokesperson for MF Global said the firm had no knowledge of this event.

The 50 to 100 partygoers at the Billy Goat III tavern on S. Wells Street gathered to greet old friends and discuss their job fortunes, people familiar with the matter said. The overall mood of the party was "kind of dour" because many of the people who came hadn't yet landed new jobs, two sources said.

Edith O'Brien, a former treasurer in the Chicago back office who, according to Corzine's testimony before the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, transferred funds in the week before the company declared bankruptcy, attended the party but didn't talk about the investigation into the missing money, a source said.

Attendees included former IT employees, salespeople and some management.

One former employee in New York attempted to organize a similar event through an e-mail chain, a source familiar with the matter said. Once the party was suggested, at least 10 people responded with: "Is Jon Corzine going to pay for it?"

Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com

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