Skip to comments.MF Global Cash could be returned (??)
Posted on 01/31/2013 6:21:57 AM PST by mgist
When Mahesh Desai checked his MF Global account 15 months ago, his US$580,000 nest egg was gone. Like thousands of investors and farmers who had their savings with MF Global, Desai lost his money in the brokerage firm's chaotic final days.
Regulators discovered US$1.6 billion was trapped in a web of improper wire transfers, a breach that sent federal investigators scrambling to build a case.
A bankruptcy court will today review a proposal that would return 93 per cent of the missing money to customers like Desai. And the trustee who has submitted the proposal, James Giddens, has quietly identified a way that, if approved by the judge, could plug the remaining shortfall for United States customers, according to people involved in the case.
"I'm surprised that, magically, the money has shown up," said Desai, a software account executive who, like most US customers who traded futures contracts, has only 80 per cent of his money. "I feel very relieved."
Customers are not the only ones exhaling. Today's hearing presents a turning point for several major players in the MF Global case, including the firm's trustees, creditors and former executives.
For one, Giddens late last year made peace with an overseas administrator tending to the firm's British unit and Louis Freeh, the MF Global trustee recovering money for creditors. The pact ended a fight over access to limited resources.
And Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey governor who headed MF Global when it collapsed, can now claim some small degree of vindication. The European bonds at the centre of a US$6.3 billion bet by Corzine fully paid out when they matured in recent months.
The large position in European sovereign debt in 2011 unnerved MF Global's investors and ratings agencies. Yet it is now clear that the bonds, which were sold to George Soros and other investors, were not by themselves to blame for felling MF Global. The firm also struggled after a one-time charge depressed its earnings.
Despite Corzine's progress, he still must shake a nagging federal investigation. While investigators have long doubted their ability to file criminal charges against him, suspecting that chaos and lax controls were at play, rather than outright fraud, they continue stitching together evidence on the firm's demise.
Federal authorities interviewed the former chief over two days in September, according to people close to the case.
But Corzine, unsurprisingly, has yet to receive assurances that he is in the clear. And investigators continue to examine one of his statements from the September session, the people close to the case said. The statement involved Corzine's recollection about a phone call he had with JP Morgan Chase, which received a suspicious US$175 million transfer from MF Global on its last day of business.
A spokesman for Corzine declined to comment on the case.
JP Morgan sought written promises that the money did not belong to customers but never received such assurances. An e-mail shows that Edith O'Brien, an MF Global employee who oversaw the transfer, told Corzine that the money belonged to the firm, not clients.
Guess Corzine will be off the hook because the money will be paid by “Obama’s stash,” where all Democrat money comes from.
So where did the money go to, and come back from? http://www.mfglobalcaseinfo.com/
This article is misleading in multiple ways. For one, where the money is has been known almost since day one. Corzine used customer money to pay margin calls on his own sour trades. He is not vindicated in the least that the bonds he bought have fully paid out, because George Soros bought them at their low (and, indeed below their then-market price) from the bankrupt firm, and therefore has collected the profits. The idea that the justice department is “trying to build a case” is ludicrous, they never deposed him or even detained him for questioning. Holder wants to nail Corzine like the FBI wanted to nail John Doe #2 of the OKC bombing. (Hint: Corzine was Obama’s biggest campaign contribution bundler.) The article also fails to mention that those funds tied up in foreign exchanges is not yet set to be returned - about $900 million of the total. Nor do they mention how the SEC not only failed to protect customers of the firm, it actively damaged them by agreeing to declare the case a Ch. 11 bankruptcy - instead of the Ch. 7 that is actually mandated by federal regs.
MARKETS Updated January 24, 2013, 8:37 p.m. ET
CFTC Commissioner Sommers Resigns
MF Global Judge denied customer’s group ability to depose Corzine and MF Global officers. That’s ridiculous!
" Trentadue's family maintains that he was murdered by the FBI themselves and that officials at the prison engaged in a cover-up. " "the FBI mistook him for "John Doe #2," a suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing."
Opinion: Is MF Global the Final Nail in a Long Running Fight for Derivative Market Integrity?
By Mark Melin
The regulated derivates industry is at its lowest point in history. The customer segregated account, once regarded as among the most secure in the financial services industry, is now relegated to be used by others for deposits on OTC SWAP transactions.
Current Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler has been deeply involved in the most recent MF Global debacle, but his little reported actions to dismantle derivative market protections have a long history. It was Mr. Gensler who, in 1998 when a proud member of what was known as “The Working Group,” executed a scheme with Larry Summers and Robert Rubin that first humiliated then CFTC Chairwoman Brooksley Born and later forced her resignation. Ms. Born’s offense was attempting to investigate the non-transparent OTC derivatives that ultimately imploded in 2008.
With Chairman Gensler’s involvement, regulation in place that worked for decades was cast away as “outmoded” or “depression era.” This ushered in new and accommodating legislation created by the denizens of the revolving doors between Wall Street and K Street. These rule changes will most likely come into play when improperly designed and generally unregulated OTC SWAP transactions, strewn across the European Union and in the US, implode in a global debt crisis. More concrete, however, one needs to look no further than MF Global to see evidence of Chairman Gensler’s handiwork. Customers of Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs), for example, formerly protected client funds by rigid rules of segregation, are now for the first time ever creditors in bankruptcy courts under new legal twists which have Chairman Gensler’s fingerprints all over. Evidence suggests Chairman Gensler should be held accountable for the decisions that damaged the regulated derivatives industry more than any other event in history. But how and why did this happen? What is the longer-term story?
Making the World Safe For SWAPS
Upon taking his current position at the CFTC on May 26, 2009, Chairman Gensler stated objective was to regulate OTC SWAPs that had recently imploded in 2008. The new way is towards SWAP transactions instead of the true and open exchange model, which operated robustly for many decades — through depressions, wars, financial panics and the chaos of 2008. But the groundwork for this was laid much earlier.
The first sign of this change was in 1999 when Gary Gensler, after his “success” with Brooksley Born, was appointed by Robert Rubin to Undersecretary for Domestic Finance. His job was to promote that regulation of off exchange derivatives would remain free from regulatory oversight. Legislation was created that is now called the “Enron Loopholes.” At the time Chairman Gensler also worked on and lobbied Congress for Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which was written to allow, among other things, greater brokerage access to customer funds for things like foreign sovereign debt. Chairman Gensler, who was a key player in creating and promoting loopholes that brought about Enron and the 2008 mortgage banking collapse, now stands in the middle of an MF Global criminal cover-up.
It is noteworthy that Chairman Gensler’s prepared statement at the first hearing on MF Global said nothing at all about MF Global and much about his work on swaps regulation. So consider that as the industry moves to a swaps-based industry instead of the use of futures for hedging and risk management, transaction costs will likely increase for all market participants with lessoned liquidity. As financial swaps become the dominant instrument used to trade commodity markets, it is also possible that the Senate Agricultural Committee, which oversees the CFTC, will eventually lose their mandate for oversight this federal agency. The Commodity markets and the CFTC (possibly merged into the SEC) could then fall under the Congressional and Senate Finance Committee, which are recognized in books such as Neil Barofsky’s book Bailout to be fully controlled by the entrenched financial lobby and special interests. The same groups that have overseen the greatest consolidation of financial power and financial crimes against the U.S. public in the recent decades. Wouldn’t this development signal the complete control of regulators by a group that, some might say, have been involved in damaging the integrity of US financial system? The path toward SWAPs leads financial services in a direction that will likely have less fee competition, lower liquidity and fewer counterparties.
The commodities markets were built and shaped over time by regulatory professionals who understood basic market principals unique to commodities. This has been dismantled by the likes of Chairman Gensler. Today, the rulemaking process has been subsumed by SWAPs dealers with a government failure guarantee.
In 2008 the warnings Ms. Born had predicted in 1998 came into the public view, as the overleveraged crash of 2008 was just the start. During this time the commodity industry was a shining star. Markets held up under significant stress and the primary investment to arise out of the ashes was managed futures, the ignored asset class that had a long history of posting positive performance when all else was weak. This industry cannot be damaged at the time when uncorrelated investments are needed most.
The money went to the early Obama re-elect, of course. So Romney could be ruined before he even started. Looks like late donors may make repayment possible - but don’t count on it really happening. As you’ll recall, the Senate Finance crowed that 80% would be repaid - and it still hasn’t been.
Legalized Plunder (theft).
Product of Socialism.
See: Essays on Political Economy by M. Frederic Bastiat (1874)
“The law sometimes takes its own part. Sometimes it accomplishes it with its own hands, in order to save the parties benefited the shame, the danger, and the scruple. Sometimes it places all this ceremony of magistracy, police, gendarmerie, and prisons, at the service of the plunderer, and treats the plundered party, when he defends himself, as the criminal. In a word, there is a legal plunder”
Geoffrey F Aronow, an attorney representing Serwinski, wouldnt deny that his client pointed to Corzines possible culpability when interviewed by the CFTC and the CME just after the firms demise. A spokesman for the CFTC declined comment.
htto://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/09/11/exclusive-mf-global-cfo-said-corzine-knew-about-misuse-funds/#ixzz2JZ8AyGVE Conflict of interest?
SEC Names Geoffrey Aronow as General Counsel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Corzine should be UNDER the jail for this. One of the largest thefts of all time, and he is free as a bird.
Corzine has reached #1 on the “Most Likely To Be Pardoned By Baraq” list.