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MF Global: “This Was a Massive Theft”

Six months and counting.

The lives of countless numbers of families and individuals are likely forever changed by what transpired at MF Global. Yet there remains no real accounting nor full retribution for the fiasco which unfolded within the walls of the firm that traced its roots to the late 1700s.

Certainly we can expect that trustees and regulators will put forth some thousand page reports trying to detail the minute by minute demise of MF Global. Do you think those reports will mean anything to the lives of the people impacted? I don’t. Why? How do you recapture trust? When there is NO real trust, there is NO real justice, and NO real closure. It is that simple.

Who in America would not agree right now to grant Edith O’Brien, the junior executive in MF Global’s back office, full and total immunity so we may learn even more details about this travesty? Where is the pressure in Washington to make that happen? By not granting Ms. O’Brien immunity, our supposed political leaders have shown their true colors — and they are NOT red, white , and blue.

Utilizing the language of “the street”, what do those in the Chicago trading pits think happened at MF Global? As so succinctly stated in today’s Financial Times article, MF Global Leaves Industry Scarred:

John Roe, leader of the Commodity Customer Coalition, a customer group, and an introducing broker at BT Trading in Chicago, a firm that had all $15m or so of its client funds at MF Global, says his members would be “beyond dejected” if there were no prosecution. “There should be a criminal consequence,” he says. “The system itself is at risk if there isn’t.”

“Someone at MF Global made the decision to swipe customer money,” Mr Roe adds. “They need to pay a price for that. Otherwise, our members will feel the marketplace isn’t what they thought it was.”

“This was a massive theft,” says Jeff Carter, a Chicago futures trader and blogger. “The futures industry battles the equity industry for dollars. Brokers compete against each other. If I am a customer and have a choice between trading crude oil futures or a crude oil ETF, the equity broker has a huge leg up against the futures broker if no one from MF stands trial – specifically, top management.”

Juxtapose the comments of Mr. Roe and Mr. Carter to a comment I highlighted yesterday by Harvard professor Niall Ferguson:

When countries improve rule of law, property rights, and investor protections, and when regulation becomes more transparent and corruption reduced, there are major payoffs. The World Justice Project says the U.S. has been deteriorating for close to 10 years by all these measures…

I repeat, why no immunity for Ms. O’Brien? Let this be the legacy of those in Washington who would cast their lots with the likes of Jon Corzine and others rather than standing up for Mr. Roe, Mr. Carter, and the American public at large.

Without making light of it, this entire MF Global scenario reminds me of another Chicago caper in which those disguised as the Feds were also shown to be part of the “the sting”. While the clip below may provide a little bit of entertainment value, regrettably the pain experienced by many of our fellow citizens is all too real.

Can somebody explain to me again why Ms. O’Brien is not granted immunity?

In the meantime, let’s go back to the mid ’70s and enjoy this classic scene. Too bad the MF Global mess isn’t just a movie, as well.

Larry Doyle

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  • Diggs

    Just a professional bunch of crooks! I believe its called organized crime!

  • EllenD818

    “When countries improve rule of law, property rights, and
    investor protections, and when regulation becomes more transparent and
    corruption reduced, there are major payoffs. The World Justice Project says the U.S. has been deteriorating for close to 10 yearsby all these measures… ”

    When the US mantra is “Deregulation, Deregulation Deregulation” what do you expect? Investor money will go to countries that protect their money. The ones with regulations.

  • LindaAnselmi

    Great post LD!

    This really does show the depths of the corruption in our government.   If we actually had two functioning parties the Republicans would be all over this?  Their silence is as telling as the Dems!

    • AnitaFinlay

      Amen.  Both sides are equally corrupt.  They are too busy protecting their campaign contributionsto take action to stop all of this.

  • bigscreen

    Try and remember this travesty and  all the bs brought down by the banks, etc, the next time you’re on a jury and the prosecutor demands you find some dumbass guilty on some trumped-up charge that involves chump change or less.

  • April454

    Nice photo trying to link this to Obama. Another example of the unregulated and unenforced financial sector gone amok. And under a Romney will can expect nothing but much more extreme financial industry de-regulation.  Do you think the GOP and Romney will push for more financial industry prosecutions?

    • bigscreen

      No

    • Dbb3

      That is the NQ way,, a picture of Obama and Corzine apropos of nothing, never mind he served with Obama in the Senate, later as NJ Governor. By the way he was far closer to the Clintons, supposedly heros here .

      • KenoshaMarge

        He is still “bundling” for Obama. Arpopos of something.

        Is he still bundling for the Clintons, who are still supported by some people here but not all by a long shot. Is there a “Clinton” Administation? Does the DOJ answer to the Clintons? Not even a nice try.

      • AlwaysLearning715

        From an article by Janet Tavakoli in the HuffPost:

        “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.”

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  • HELENK2

    even some on the left are wondering about the slow walking of the corzine investigation

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2877673/posts

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Yep, I can explain.  It’s called, Jon Corzine is one of “us,” and we need him for ekection fundraising and buttonholing.

    • elizabethrc

      Isn’t he one of Obama’s major bundlers?  
      He isn’t about to kill that golden goose.
      It just proves that despicable people circulate among equally despicable people.
      I don’t care how much money they have.  Both are still lowlifes whom I would never invite to my table.

      • shelldoll2

        Thank you.