When somebody starts telling you the game is rigged in favor of the "Big Banks", this is exactly what they're talking about.
Click anywhere below for the entire Robert Lezner, Forbes article where you will learn that Former Goldman Sachs star trader, United States Senator, Governor of New Jersey, well know Obama bundler and MF Global CEO John Corzine met no fewer that 10 times with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in order to see to it that this vile rule of the supposed government regulator, did not change as a result of Dodd-Frank.
After an intense day of investigation, I have just discovered that a CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) rule(1.29) allowed Jon Corzine’s MF Global to use the margin and cash in customers heretofore segregated accounts to amass a risky $6.3 billion investment in European sovereign debt that backfired. Nor did Corzine have the obligation to inform any of these customers he was gambling with their money. Or that he was intending to keep all the profits for himself and his troubled firm. Nothing for the customers.
The language of Rule1.29 allows “The investment of customer funds in instruments described in 1.29 shall not prevent the futures commission merchant (MF Global) or clearing organization so investing such funds and retaining as its own any increment or interest resulting therefrom.” Increment refers to any trading profits or gains.
The criminal division of the Justice Department in New York — as well as the SEC and the CFTC and members of Congress– are investigating whether any laws were violated and if so, whether any criminal charges can be brought. As of 3pm today, there has been no sign of the missing $633 million. My sources believe it was probably grabbed by the institutions that made the margin calls on MF Global as the European bonds sank in value.
This shocking loophole, which is available to all commodity traders, whether giant ones like Goldman Sachs or members of commodity exchanges, means that huge risks are being taken with money that does not belong to the trading firms– without the customers having any idea of the danger they are in. As Andy Abraham, a futures trader in Israel put it to me today; “this means they can take segregated funds and leverage them to kingdom come. It means nothing is safe.”
This rule, which has been in effect since 1974, is shocking and highly irregular since it allows any futures dealer to use customers money for its own selfish purposes– and never inform its customers it is doing so. What’s even more unfair is that the dealer(MF Global) gets to keep all the income and the trading profits, if any from a transaction that uses other people’s money– not its own house capital. That is unless some prior arrangement about sharing profits was made privately beforehand with the client. None of the MF Global clients I’ve spoken to today had the foggiest notion about this arrangement– which at minimum is outrageously unfair to the rule that the customer comes first. All losses must be made up by the dealer, which in this case may be totally impossible.
Just a small example of the rot that is our government.