Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Ukraine Preface, the Emerging Dynamics Of Petro-Yuan Standard - Jim_Willie_CB
2. Speculations Reversed - Gold Price Stealth Rally 2014 - Peter_Schiff
3.Bubbleberg News Drivel Masquerading as Financial Reporting - David A. Stockman
4.Nationwide UK House Prices 9.5% Inflation, Housing Market on Steroids, Help to Buy Anniversary - Nadeem_Walayat
5.How to Profit from Palladium Huge Price Surge… - Peter Krauth
6.UK Home Solar Panel Installations Good or Bad for House Buying and Selling? - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Global Gold Manipulation Update - MAP Wave Analysis - Marc_Horn
8.Ukraine Capital Controls and 200% Inflation But Still In Better Shape Than US! - Jeff_Berwick
9.The Rise of a Euro-Chino-Russian Superpower - Stephan Bogner
10.Across Europe Secession Movements Intensify - BATR
Last 72 Hrs
Glaring Q.E. Failure Spotted - Money Velocity Is Falling Rapidly - 16th Apr 14
High-Frequency Insider Trading - 16th Apr 14
Gold Prices 2014: Do What Goldman Does, Not What It Says - 16th Apr 14
These CEOs Will Make Investors Rich - 16th Apr 14
Climate Change, Central Banking And The Faustian Bargain - 16th Apr 14
Every Central Bank for Itself - 16th Apr 14
Social Security, U.S. Treasury Stealing Every Last Penny From Americans - 16th Apr 14
Ukraine Falling to Economic Warfare and Its Own Missteps - 16th Apr 14
Silver and Gold Miners Still Disappoint - 16th Apr 14
Silver, Gold, and What Could Go Wrong - 15th Apr 14
How I Intend to Survive the Meltdown of America - 15th Apr 14
France Wakes Up To The Multicultural Multi-Threat - 15th Apr 14
The Real Purpose Of QE - It’s Not Employment - 15th Apr 14
Peak Coal - 15th Apr 14
Flash Crash, Rigged Markets - What’s the Frequency Zenith? - 15th Apr 14
Forecasting U.S. GDP Growth: A Look at WSJ Economists’ Collective Crystal Ball - 15th Apr 14
Stock Market - Is Something Nasty About to Happen? - 15th Apr 14
How to Trade Your Way To Freedom - 15th Apr 14
Understanding (and Ignoring) the Media Bandwagon Against Gold - 15th Apr 14
When Stock Market Bubble Crashes, Take Refuge in Gold Stocks - 15th Apr 14
Bitcoin Price Strong Appreciation to Be Followed by Declines? - 14th Apr 14
Greece, Turkey, We're Shuffling The Cards on Our Europe Investing Play - 14th Apr 14
Silver Price Ultimate Rally: When Paper Assets Collapse - 14th Apr 14
Get Your Share of an Extra Trillion Euros Money Printing - 14th Apr 14
Fourth Reversals in The Gold and Silver Charts - 14th Apr 14
Stock Market Nearing Rally in a Downtrend - 14th Apr 14
London House Prices Bubble, Debt Slavery, Crimea 2.0 - Russia Ukraine Annexation - 14th Apr 14
Four Horsemen - Top Economists Explain the Source of Our Economic Crisis - Video - 13th Apr 14
Peak Oil And Global Warming – A Question Of Culture - 13th Apr 14
The Global Banking Game Is Rigged, and the FDIC Is Suing - 13th Apr 14
College Degree Earnings Propaganda - 13th Apr 14 - Andrew Syrios
Stock Market Potential Diagonal Triangle Pattern Forming - 12th Apr 14
Ukraine Crisis – Military Flash Drive Thinking - 12th Apr 14
Gold And Silver – 2014 Coud Be A Yawner; Be Prepared For A Surprise - 12th Apr 14
Gold Preparing to Launch as U.S. Dollar Drops to Key Support - 12th Apr 14
Manipulated Stocks Markets And The Empty Bag - 12th Apr 14
Stock Market - It’s Not Time to Panic… It’s Time to Buy - 12th Apr 14
Doctor Doom on the Fiat Money Empire Coming Financial Crisis - 12th Apr 14
Sheffield, Rotherham Roma Benefits Plague, Ch5 Documentary Gypsies on Benefits & Proud - 11th Apr 14
This Bitcoin Price Rally Might Be a Fake One - 11th Apr 14
GDX Gold Stocks Benchmark - 11th Apr 14
Silver Price Finally Outperforms – How Bullish Is That? - 11th Apr 14
Limits to Employment Participation, and Societal Change - 11th Apr 14
US Moves To Restrict Travelers Taking International Flights - 11th Apr 14
Bill Gross to El-Erian: 'Come on, Mohamed, Tell Us Why' You Resigned PIMCO - 11th Apr 14
British Pound GBP/USD - Double Top or Further Rally? - 11th Apr 14
Don't Miss the Boat on Big Biotech Catalysts: Keith Markey - 11th Apr 14
Russia Invaded Crimea and These US Energy Companies Made a Killing - 11th Apr 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

MF Global Implosion: Congressman Grimm Sends a Message

Companies / Credit Crisis 2012 May 03, 2012 - 01:24 PM GMT

By: Janet_Tavakoli

Companies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleIn my previous post, I quoted from MF Global's crisis plan, a document called "Stress Scenario Analysis -- Downgrade Potential Impact on MF Global." Work on that document began in January 2011, although it apparently wasn't completed until around 18 days before the bankruptcy. MF Global worried that it wouldn't have enough cash and liquid assets of its own to meet calls for collateral (margin calls), among other things, in the event of a ratings downgrade.


"Reads Like a Fraud Play-Book"

The document poses a question:

How quickly do we want to send cash back to clients, what is the message if we do not send immediately... -- page 11

I'll get back to the answer to MF Global's question about the message later. To every finance professional I know that has read the entire document, this looks as if MF Global planned to misuse, i.e., to steal clients' money to see it through a period when it anticipated being short of its own funds. One financial professional, who has no economic interest in MF Global, asserted MF Global's crisis plan "read like a fraud play-book."

In the week prior to MF Global's bankruptcy, MF Global did not immediately return clients' funds and the money went to its creditors instead. Unfortunately for MF Global's clients, it collapsed into bankruptcy and never did return missing funds.

That's just one example of the grave issues posed by events throughout 2011 at MF Global. (See my previous posts.)

Investigations or Cover-ups?

The Trustees' handling the bankruptcy looks like theater of the absurd. They've withheld documents and information. In January 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that the investigations (by trustees, justice, regulators and congress found $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion of customer money "'vaporized' as a result of chaotic trading." But Jill Sommers of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the CFTC, testified in December 2011 that it reviewed MF Global's transactions and knew where all the money went.

James Giddens, a Trustee, is trying to pass off MF Global's crime as the result of chaos (perhaps he meant "Kaos," the criminals in Get Smart) or sloppy bookkeeping, and no reasonable finance professional accepts that a firm can both escape prosecution under Sarbanes Oxley and claim this type of "sloppy bookkeeping" -- much less to the tune of a missing $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion.

Giddens claimed the computer systems and employees had trouble keeping up. I can assure Giddens that computers can more than keep up. As for what the employees were doing, note that "errors" did not result in a surfeit of cash being found in customers' accounts. Instead, an estimated $1.2 to $1.6 billion of customers' funds are missing, exactly the kind of outcome one would expect if MF Global's management had engaged in the kind of fraud apparently suggested in its crisis document.

James Giddens' excuses for MF Global sound to me like whitewash. If he genuinely believes he has put forward a reasonable explanation, then he appears to me to be incompetent. Yet his undisclosed fees will probably make your eyes pop out.

Rep. Grimm Calls for Independent Investigator

Jon Corzine, the former CEO of MF Global, is a former governor (D-NJ), a former U.S. senator (D-NJ) with a connection to the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman that "investigated" him, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs with connections to a former colleague on the Fed board and the head of the CFTC, and is a top tier campaign contribution bundler for President Obama.

I've recently met with many Counsels General and a few Ambassadors from countries that are among our trading partners and allies. MF Global's stench is so offensive that they question the viability of our already compromised financial system. They've noted the lack of indictments in the wake of the September 2008 financial meltdown and massive ongoing bailouts. MF Global is another glaring example of our hypocrisy and cronyism and lack of will to restore rule of law to our financial system. The perception is that the needle has moved further in the wrong direction.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, and he has reportedly circulated a letter in the House asking for an independent investigator and is seeking signatures and support. Obviously appearances are important, and the "investigation" into MF Global so far has every appearance of being broadly compromised. Given our ongoing financial crisis and bailouts, so far it's a shameful performance by Congress, Justice, regulators, and the bankruptcy trustees. The dialogue the financial community has heard so far lacks credibility and basic decency.

I promised I'd answer MF Global's question about "the message if we do not send [back clients' so-called segregated funds] immediately." Even to foreign diplomats the message is that you look like co-conspirators, albeit as yet unindicted.

Endnote: Jane Wollman Rusoff interviewed me for Research Magazine's May cover story, "Finding the Culprits of the Crisis," about the deep monetary connections of Wall Street and Washington and the corrosive effect it has had on the economy and the Republic.

By Janet Tavakoli

web site: www.tavakolistructuredfinance.com

Janet Tavakoli is the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based firm that provides consulting to financial institutions and institutional investors. Ms. Tavakoli has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She is a former adjunct associate professor of derivatives at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. Author of: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (1998, 2001), Collateralized Debt Obligations & Structured Finance (2003), Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (John Wiley & Sons, September 2008). Tavakoli’s book on the causes of the global financial meltdown and how to fix it is: Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street (Wiley, 2009).

© 2012 Copyright Janet Tavakoli- All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014