Goldman Execs Lose Their Magic Touch

Jon Corzine’s disastrous reign at MF Global is just the latest in a string of failures for former Goldman Sachs executives, argues Andrew Ross Sorkin. Corzine, a former New Jersey governor and U.S. senator, spent 25 years at the investment house, and when he joined MF last year, he spoke openly about wanting to create a mini-Goldman. But Goldman’s secret formula may not translate well. Corzine follows in the unenviable footsteps of John Thain, Robert Rubin, and J. Christopher Flowers—all considered powerhouses until venturing out of the Goldman orbit. As for Corzine, his huge bet on European sovereign debt, which ultimately drowned MF, probably would never have happened at Goldman—the firm empowers risk managers to constantly check even the most senior leaders to keep them from becoming too powerful.