Banker-turned-politician Jon Corzine is the former Governor of New Jersey who decamped to ill-fated MF Global Inc. in 2010.
Much like Michael Bloomberg, Corzine had a surprisingly successful transition from the role of corporate heavyweight to political leader. Corzine went to work for a couple of small banks in the Midwest after graduating the University of Chicago business school, joining Goldman Sachs in 1975. Signing on as a bond trader, he made partner in 1980 and headed up the fixed income group in the late '80s and early '90s, before being named senior partner following the departure of Bob Rubin and Stephen Friedman. During his final years at the firm, Corzine led the charge to turn Goldman from one of Wall Street's most venerated partnerships into a public company. But in January 1999, shortly before Goldman's IPO, Corzine was muscled out of the CEO job by Hank Paulson and John Thornton. It was a painful end to his quarter-century at the firm: So incensed was Corzine by the betrayal, he reportedly spent his final weeks at Goldman working from his chauffeured car parked in front of 85 Broad Street.
Corzine considered taking another corporate job after leaving the firm, but when he learned that Senator Frank Lautenberg wasn't planning to run for another term Corzine jumped into the political ring, spending a record-breaking $62 million to beat Republican nominee Bob Franks and become New Jersey's junior U.S. Senator in 2000. Five years later he announced his candidacy again—this time for Governor—following Jim McGreevey's resignation. He comfortably defeated Republican challenger Doug Forrester, capturing 54 percent of the vote. Although Corzine's gubernatorial tenure got off to a rocky start—he got into a nasty fight with fellow Democrats over the state budget that resulted in a six-day shutdown of the government—since then, he championed a handful of issues that he's long been passionate about: He's enacted funding for stem cell research, reduced property taxes (a major campaign issue), legalized civil union for gay couples, called for reductions in the state's greenhouse gas emissions, and signed a bill ending the death penalty in New Jersey. However, with the financial crisis weighing heavily on Corizine's approval ratings, he lost to Chris Christie in 2010 and went on to become CEO of MF Global, which declined sharply in 2011, prompting the company to file chapter 11 bankruptcy amidst lawsuits regarding missing money. [Image via Getty]