Tuesday, 06 December 2011 06:44

The Very Structure of Risk Management/Internal Audit Departments of Big Banks Are J-O-K-E-S! Ask MF Global Clients Featured

The WSJ reports Corzine Rebuffed Internal Warnings on Risks:

MF Global Holdings Ltd.'s executive in charge of controlling risks raised serious concerns several times last year to directors at the securities firm about the growing bet on European bonds by his boss, Jon S. Corzine, people familiar with the matter said.

The board allowed the company's exposure to troubled European sovereign debt to swell from about $1.5 billion in late 2010 to $6.3 billion shortly before MF Global tumbled into bankruptcy Oct. 31, these people said. The executive who challenged Mr. Corzine resigned in March.

The disagreement shows that concerns about the big bet grew inside the company months ...

As I have hinted in "The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications" I knew the ex-CEO of MF Global, and in particular member(s) of in the internal audit staff - one of which I knew very well and trained. There is one glaring FLAW in the structure of internal risk management and audit in MF Global, and that was that it was WEAK! If internal audit answers to operational executive management, then how can it truly crack the whip on its own boss. Now, granted, this is not endemic to just MF Global, but it is truly a problem. Internal audit/risk management needs to answer to a separate entity, apart from the CEO and possibly apart from the Board itself if the CEO has had a part in selecting the board. This way there is true independence and the nonsense that you just saw with MF Global has a much less likely chance of happening.

Alas, such is life. For instance, why are you reading this through a subscription blog versus PWC's audit report of MF Global? Hmmmmmm.....

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 08:08

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