Tag Archives: Karl Denninger

Sobering message from founder of Tea Party movement

Karl Denninger is a plain-talking stock market analyst, technology businessman, finance blogger, and political activist, sometimes referred to as a founding member of the Tea Party movement.

Denninger was the founder and CEO of MCSNet (Macro Computer Solutions) in Chicago, which became one of the area’s first commercial internet service providers, leading the Chicago Sun-Times to call him one of “the movers and shakers who brought Chicago into the Internet Age.” In 1998, Denninger sold MCSNet to Winstar Communications for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock, and moved to Florida where he began to devote more time to stock trading and political activism.

Denninger was one of the early members of the Tea Party movement, sometimes referred to as a founder. On January 20, 2009, the day of Obama’s first inauguration, he published a blog post calling on readers to mail tea bags to the White House and Congress on February 1. However, Denninger later expressed concern with the Tea Party movement, stating in an October 20, 2010 blog post that Republicans had hijacked the movement and perverted its original goals to the standard Republican concerns of “guns, gays and God”.

Here’s his sobering message to America on his The Market Ticker site. It’s well worth your read.

~Eowyn

Karl DenningerKarl Denninger

As You Hang Out This Holiday Season

by Karl Denninger
December 26, 2013

Roll this around in your cranium….

We run into a lot of people over our years.  We start being born into something called a “family”, and we don’t get to choose ‘em.  There’s always two, and one’s male and one’s female.  Oh sure, there are pairs of people and even single people who try to claim otherwise, but God (or Darwin) is a bastard and he made it how he made it — there’s always one of each.  Sometimes one of them is worthless, sometimes they both are, but you can’t change how it is.

If we’re lucky we have at least one of those two role models between male and female that is worth a **** and competent to run their own life.  Oh sure, they’re not going to be perfect — nobody is.  Maybe they’re messy, or maybe their life is just a bit ****ed up, but with some luck one of the two has their cranium screwed on straight enough that they can provide a place to ****, shower, sleep and grub — the basics.  If we’re really blessed then we have two people in that category, but despite what you see on TV that almost never happens.  The number of families out there with at least one adult member who is a few cans short of a six-pack is huge.  Maybe that’s why God (or Darwin, if you prefer) made things the way they are — it enhances the odds that there’s at least one guiding light, even if it flickers somewhat.

If we’re not lucky then we have two dysfunctional people.  There’s two forms of that as well.  One is unintentional and, while this usually results in*****ed-off kids, rebellious or whatever, it’s not really their fault.  It’s just their own limitations. You can’t blame people for being unprepared, for listening to screwball “advice” that is utter and complete crap or worse, is malicious and grounded in protecting their own turf instead of those in their charge.  After all, lots of folks are seduced by people with fancy letters after their name.  You might be one of those who has been — or is today — being seduced in that fashion.

The intentionally-dysfunctional jackass is another matter.  Those folks deserve what they get, and if there is a God, they’ll get it eventually. Those are the drunks, the serial philanders, the abusers, the molesters, the abandoners and the thieves, among others. In short, they’re the ones without a conscience, who take on a responsibility that is not just beyond them, but one they won’t even try to fulfill because they’re too narcissistic — or evil — to give a damn about anyone else. Some of them eventually come around, and those who do are entitled to claim redemption, but most simply make excuses throughout their lives, moving from one scheme to the next to try to stay ahead of living under a bridge.

The role of parents is to start with a child that is utterly dependent upon you for their very existence and to transition to a relationship of respect and mutual admiration before adulthood.  Sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you don’t.  Sometimes it’s your fault, and sometimes it’s not.  There’s another human being involved — the kid — who has his or her own choices to make too.  And, at some point, they have to live with the consequences.  It would be nice if all the people we grew up around and with were good, decent people, but a huge percentage of them are not.  There are the same proportion of jackasses among kids as there are among adults — there are those who are competent and reasonable, those who are incompetent but not by intent, and then there are those who are intentionally malicious.

We then all go into the world and in that wild world out there we discover that heh, it works the same way when we’re on our own.  Hopefully we figure it out before we get scammed too many times, or we wind up doing something really, really stupid that destroys us.

Why do I write this — a real “downer” — on the day after Christmas?

It’s simple — we are witness to the end of an extraordinary time in America and, indeed, among much of the developed world.

See, the hedonism and jackass behaviors that used to lead to you being tossed out in the snow a few hundred years ago — where you would surely die unless you were a member of a privileged class such as a baron or duchess — have over the last 30+ years become a means to get ahead.  It’s been codified as “ok” to screw your neighbor, so long as you got yours. We have lived in a terrible time, really, that looks all nice and pretty but is anything but.

Witness the poverty pimp Jesse Jackson who is now demanding a meeting with A&E — and Cracker Barrel — over the Duck Dynasty fiasco.  This is the man who’s son was just sentenced to prison for bilking people.  He didn’t get busted for tooting up cocaine or some other “victimless” crime — he got busted for stealing money – specifically, $750,000 of funds that were given to him to run for office.

It’s even better — Jesse Jr. claims to be Bipolar.  What are we doing with mentally-ill people in political office passing laws?  I have no quarrel with someone who’s mentally incapacitated — but if you are, you’ve got no business telling anyone else what to do — period.

It would be one thing if it was just Jesse’s offspring — after all, as I noted above, there’s a kid involved in all of these deals and sometimes they suck.  That’s just how it is.  But no, in this case it’s Jesse too.  Remember, this is a Baptist Minister who proclaims the Bible – but can’t keep his dick in his pants where it belongs, and has an illegitimate daughter.  I seem to remember something about that in both Leviticus and Romans, among other places in The Book.

Jackson has done more to harm black people than anyone I know in recent history, along with Sharpton and others of his ilk. He doesn’t preach redemption, inclusion, hard work and integrity.  To the contrary — his message is one of shakedowns and threats.  He epitomizes and exemplifies everything that’s wrong with America today and has been for the last 30 years — he’s an ambulance chaser, a pimp and a thug all rolled into one, using his race as a weapon.

Thinking men and women of all races should have long ago told him to go **** himself with a rusty chainsaw as his acts and message have been behind the very destruction of hope and advancement that those people who share his skin color should be achieving – not through beinggiven something but rather through hard work and personal integrity.

And that brings us to his screaming yesterday, you see, because he claims that there’s something wrong with Phil talking about how Phil never saw racism in the deep south in his youth.

Well, you know what?  I grew up around black people in my earlier years and I never saw it either.  But I didn’t live in the south.  Phil did.  What’s wrong with a man’s experience, eh?  Do I believe that there was, and is, plenty of racism in the world today — and was then?  You bet.  I have met plenty of people who are hard-core racists, and they’re *******s — all of them.  That includes plenty of black people, by the way.  I have no time for that crap in my life.  My #1 at MCSNet was a black man, Marcus, who’s job it was to keep **** together when I was out of the office.  He was ex-military and the best person I could hire for the job.  Did I care what color his skin was?  Hell no.  My head of sales, Marvin, was also black.  He could sell ice cubes to Eskimos in the dead of an Alaskan winter, and I’ll be damned if I knew how he did it – I couldn’t do it.  That’s why I hired him.  Then there was my customer service manager — Liz — who came up from literal zero in the company answering phones. You know why she got the job, the responsibility and the office? Because she was a hard worker, competent, willing to learn the business and what was required of her and trustworthy.

There were plenty of white people who worked for me too in every color under the sun.  There’s a lot of us out here who just don’t give a damn what color someone’s skin is — we look at who people are and whether they look to their own values, principles and acts rather than their skin color to define who they are.

Phil seems to be that sort of guy.  His family seems to be that sort of family.  And I see utterly nothing to suggest that his experience is not authentic.  Indeed, everything I see about Phil, and the Duck Dynasty people, oozes authenticity.  You may not like him, but that’s a different matter entirely.  You know what you’re getting, A&E knew what they were getting, Cracker Barrel knew what it was getting and both they and their customers want it and like it.

Now is Phil and his family perfect?  Hell no – - and he admits it.

I’m not perfect either.

So what?

If you want perfection then you’re claiming to be (or want to be) God, and I charge you’re a narcissist.  You’re never going to achieve that and you’re always going to be miserable.  It’s never going to be good enough.  You will eventually be driven to scam or bully someone because youcan’t get what you want any other way.

And that, my friends, defines you as an *******.  Your name might even be Jesse Jackson.

Now here’s the point of this missive, and I go back to what I said before — we’ve lived in an extraordinary time these last 30 years.  We’ve lived in a time when we could borrow from tomorrow to have what we won’t work for today.  We’ve lived in a time when screaming racist to shake people down and issue “demands” becomes a currency and a way of making a living.  We’ve allowed ourselves, and those who we elect to represent us, to make promises that can’t be kept.  We knew this at the time, most of us, even if only at a gut level rather than taking the time to figure out the math, but we knew.

We did it anyway.

We robbed our children.

We robbed those not yet born.

We robbed everyone, so we could “get ours.”

And we’re still doing it.

As the robbery expanded it got both deeper and broader, until today we have a medical system that has turned into Brosurance and Hosurance, complete with the campaigns of lies promulgated by effeminate “boys” in pajamas.

Can you smell the desperation in the air?  The campaign slogans, the ads with metrosexual boys in onesies that were once reserved for infants holding a cup of hot chocolate?

That’s not John Wayne in those images, and with good reason.  John Wayne was a man.  He stood for independence, for testosterone, for ability, for raw force of will.  He stood for what we did and how we did it when we put a man on the Moon.  We had no idea how to accomplish it, we just decided to go and then figured it out.  Dozens of men sat on top of bombs, on purpose, figuring it out.  Three men died sitting in one of those bombs while practicing procedures due to a ****up because we didn’t really know how to do everything we were trying to do and an entire crew almost died trying to get to the Moon in space when their service module exploded due to an assembly fault.

All that’s faded off from the American scene.  What we have in its place in corporate America is a company running a facially-bogus demonstration of “drone delivery” of packages and its stock is selling at 1,000 times earnings — a firm that has announced it has no intention of earning money in the foreseeable future.  We have another that thinks that spamming your cellphone and desktop computer with ads when you want to talk about your best friend’s cat is a good way to make money.  We have a third that thinks they can turn 140-character short messages into a cash machine.  There are dozens more just like those, just like the “companies” in 1999, and just like houses that never go down in price so you can use them to buy that big SUV, that cruise and all that slave-labor produced Chinese crap.

Behind all of it is J. Wellington Wimpy, who is forevermore eating a hamburger today that he’ll pay for Tuesday.

But he never does pay, does he?

Arithmetic says that this time — this extraordinary time — is coming to a close, ladies and gentlemen.  Not because we want it to, as the scam, the fraud, the shakedown and the pimping are both faster and easier than honest work, but because the arithmetic of exponents say it can’t continue forever — and thus it won’t.

So here’s what I leave you with today to think about:

  • Who do you associate with, and who do you shun?  Which of those you associate with are people who you are very sure will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you when things get bad? If they can’t keep their dick in their pants, why do you think they won’t shoot you and eat you if they’re hungry?  How sure are you?  If you’re wrong, you’re dead.  How’s that going to serve those who depend on you and those who you love?
  • How do you behave?  Leave aside the distant past.  If you’re perfect and have never sinned in that regard, you need to go apply to see if you’re really Jesus.  You know damn well you have, and that you’re not perfect.  The real question is how have you been doing in therecent past, and how are you doing today?  Have you learned something in your life?  Are you happy with who you are, how you comport yourself, how you live?  If you’re not, are you — right now — doing something about it?  Be honest — because there’s nobody grading this test but you.
  • What are you doing right now to cut the dependence cord?  Are you running some sort of scheme?  Do you depend on the government, or someone else’s largesse?  Are you up to your eyeballs in debt?  What happens if the means to service that disappears?  Are you one of the people who believes in the poverty pimp game — or even one of the beneficiaries of it?  For how long have you been able, but unwilling, to do anything about your dependence?  Months? Years?  Decades?  Guess what — it’s going to go away, and not voluntarily either. When are you going to face the fact that it is precisely what you demand and in fact vote for, in the main as a people, that you get and when you demand an impossibility what you are going to get, inevitably, is pain.

You can choose to be a hermit if you want, and maybe among your associates that’s your best option.

Or maybe you need better associates.

But I’ll tell you this, and I’m pretty sure of it: You better figure all of this out, and soon.

Lucifercare website is intentionally designed to crash

VoodooCare

Nancy Pelosi famously said in 2009 that we [Congress] must pass Obamacare so that we [the great unwashed American people] find out what’s in it.

Every day since, we are finding out what’s in that cursed piece of legislation that surrenders one-seventh of the U.S. economy to the federal government’s (mis)management.

We’re finding out that the Affordable Care Act is a most Unaffordable Care Act.

We’re finding out that Obama Doesn’t Care, and that Obamacare should more accurately be called Lucifercare.

We’re finding out that the Lucifercare sign-up website, Healthcare.gov, cost taxpayers more than $630 million, nearly seven times its original estimate of $93 million.

We’re finding out that despite the $630 MILLION (!) taxpayers poured into the website, like ObamaDoesn’tCare, the website doesn’t work. It keeps crashing. Obedient Americans sheeple who went on the website to enroll in ObamaDoesn’tCare instead experienced an online nightmare, with websites crashing, refusing to load, and failing to offer comprehensive choices.

How can that be?

More and more voices are now saying the ObamaDoesn’tCare website WAS INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED TO CRASH.

Here’s what Forbes says:

A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

In other words, the Lucifercare website was designed by HHS bureaucrats to run slow and crash, because:

  1. They want to get your personal information first. (Ask yourself what the feral gubmint will do with all your personal info. that you so trustingly entered.)
  2. The website then uses your info to calculate whether or not you’re eligible for ObamaDoesn’tCare subsidies — which slows down the process which, in turn, leads to the website crashing.
  3. All of which is motivated by one thing: your government doesn’t want you to discover how much ObamaDoesn’tCare will cost you.

Here’s Karl Denninger of MarketTicker.org:

In other words, they knew that the principal claim used to sell Obamacare in the first place, that costs would come down for the majority of people, was a flat, bald lie.

So as with virtually everything Government does, instead of telling the truth they decided to intentionally lie, that is, defraud you, even if in a “soft” way.  Why? Because there is never any penalty assessed against any government official or branch of the government when it lies and screws you.  Ever.

[...] There is one other point to consider — Obamacare‘s web system may be designed to force registration so if you don’t buy a policy the government will have a ready-made list of people to come after in the future to collect their fines.

After all, you did provide all your personal information first, before you saw the prices — right?

And here’s Doug Patton for GOPUSA:

Obama’s signature agenda item is his hideous health care law. He will defend it with all the power at his disposal, and it becomes more apparent every day that the current fiasco in the rollout of the program is deliberate. How could the most tech-savvy political campaign in history have evolved into a gang of White House amateurs who can’t even set up a web site? Even by the wasteful standards of Washington, how could hundreds of millions of dollars have bought us this? There can be only one answer: it is deliberate.

For decades, Democrats have entertained the dream of a government-controlled, single-payer health care system. [...] this atrocious, unworkable bill. It was designed to fail, and that failure will provide the excuse for implementing a single-payer plan. It may seem counterintuitive — and it is — but look at how government operates: “This has failed; give us more money.” Anyone who doubts this has only to look at government education.

H/t FOTM’s TnRick and Anon

UPDATE (h/t Miss May):

In the fine print of the ObamaDoesn’tCare web site, there’s this disclaimer: “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.”

~Eowyn

Why the Collapse of MF Global Should Frighten You

I try to not do apocalyptic posts because I do not want to unduly alarm our readers. But I can’t dodge this one because I believe the subject is genuinely disturbing.

I apologize for springing this on you all at Thanksgiving — a time when we should all be enjoying being with family and friends, instead of worrying about our finances and the condition of our country’s economy.

MF Global's CEO Jon Corzine with his buddy

On October 31, 2011, MF Global, a huge global financial derivatives broker, declared bankruptcy. In so doing, it became the largest Wall Street firm to collapse since the Lehman Brothers incident in September 2008, and the 8th largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

As a financial derivatives broker, MF Global provided exchange-traded derivatives, such as futures and options as well as over-the-counter products such as contracts for difference (CFDs), foreign exchange and spread betting. MF Global was also a primary dealer in United States Treasury securities.

The Wall Street Journal reported that MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after its misguided investment of more than $6 billion in sovereign bonds issued by some of Europe’s most indebted countries. That is bad enough. But it gets worse.

MF Global broke its (and the U.S. government’s) rules on keeping customer money separate from its own trading accounts, and used some of its clients’ funds to invest in sovereign bonds issued by indebted European countries. When that investment went bust, leading to MF Global’s bankruptcy, lost too are the clients’ assets the brokerage wrongfully had used for its investment.

Here’s a timeline of what happened:

  • On August 31, 2011, MF Global had $7.3 billion in customer assets, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.
  • On October 25, 2011 MF Global reported a $191.6 million quarterly loss as a result of trading on European government bonds.
  • In response, Moody’s and Fitch cut the company’s credit rankings to junk. 
  • Through the weekend of October 29/30, the firm’s board met in New York to consider options including a sale to avert failure, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. MF Global’s CEO Jon Corzine, — a Democrat, former U.S. Senator, former New Jersey governor, and former Goldman Sachs chief executive — reportedly tried, unsuccessfully, to find a buyer.
  • MF Global was stopped from doing new business with the New York Fed until it showed it was able to fulfill its responsibilities as a primary dealer, according to a statement on the regulator’s website. Trading in MF Global’s stock was halted.
  • On October 30, 2011, MF Global filed for bankruptcy.
  • That same day, Oct. 30, one of MF Global’s units reported a “material shortfall” (translated: “missing cash”) in customer funds — a shortfall estimated by James W. Giddens, the trustee overseeing the wind-down of the brokerage, to be $1.2 billion.
  • That same day, the parent company froze customer accounts with $5.45 billion. It is feared that MF Global Holdings Ltd. may have moved hundreds of millions of dollars from its futures client accounts to other accounts before its Oct. 31 bankruptcy.
  • One of MF Global’s clients who lost money is Gerald Celente, the founder and publisher of The Trends Journal. Celente revealed that he has lost his gold futures funds (valuing more than six figures) that he had with Lind-Waldock, a commodities futures brokerage owned by MF Global.
  • In papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, MF Global listed debt of $39.7 billion and assets of $41 billion. U.S. regulators have subpoenaed MF Global’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, for information on the segregation of assets belonging to clients trading on U.S. commodity exchanges. The company is being investigated by regulators for money missing from client accounts. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also reviewing trades in MF Global Holdings Ltd. convertible bonds to determine whether some investors sold the debt based on confidential information before the firm’s demise.

On the subject of whether some investors had insider info before MF Global’s demise, Lew Rockwell writes on Nov. 16, 2011, quoting Gary North:

“Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were charged with overseeing MF Global, their clearing member. If we are to believe them, they had no idea of any difficulties within the firm before customer accounts went missing just a few days before the collapse. But someone clearly knew of the cratering positions and imminent collapse of MF Global, as billions of dollars of accounts were “coincidentally” withdrawn, writes Huffington Post’s Daniel Dicker, noting how funds in accounts owned by the billionaire Koch brothers were withdrawn just in time, clearly suggesting that big players got a “heads up” that MF Global was going down.”

Gerald Celente

All of which led Gerald Celente, speaking to Eric King at King World News, to issue this warning to the public:

What’s the take away from this? It’s to make sure you have every penny in your pocket. Because just like MF (Global) screwed everybody else, you’re also gonna get the shaft, I don’t care who it is. What’s gonna happen when you get a message from your brokerage, from Fidelity or somebody… You have ETFs [Exchange-traded fund]? Oh, there’s a little error over here, we don’t have your money. We don’t have your positions…. So the takeaway is to make sure you have every penny in your possession.”

Ann Barnhardt

The MF Global bankruptcy also prompted Ann Barnhardt, the president of Barnhardt Capital Management (a cattle and grain hedge brokerage), to take the unprecedented and heroic step of shutting down her firm and liquidating all customer brokerage and options accounts, so as to prevent losses in what she says is a system that is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.”

In a letter to her clients, Barnhardt calls the MF Global bankruptcy nothing other than theft of customer cash by Jon Corzine. She warns:

“No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.

I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG’s leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn’t that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm.

Karl Denninger

Karl Denninger was the CEO of MCSNet in Chicago, one of the area’s first Internet providers. He is a founding contributer to conservative blog, The Market Ticker, and was one of the early members of the Tea Party movement. He now supports the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is the author of Leverage: How Cheap Money Will Destroy the World, November 2011. In his Market Ticker of Nov. 22, 2011 (h/t FOTM’s Joseph!), Denninger wrote:

“We’re done folks.

CNBC is reporting that there are now clients running out of the markets entirely because they do not believe their customer funds are safe.

That’s the end of it. The belief that there are more MF Globals has now taken hold. The thieves have pushed it too far and now we’ve got the start of a global liquidity run, and with good reason.

The authorities both in the regulatory side and on the prosecutorial side have refused to put a stop to the thievery and now the risk factors have turned into realized risk.

The market is done folks. You can be right but if you make your bet in the markets, are right, and then get screwed anyway when someone steals the money and nobody goes to jail there comes a time when people begin to understand that it can happen to them and will unless they depart the market.

We’re there folks.

Oh sure, there will be rallies and there will be selloffs. But there is no longer a market, there is no longer a thing to trade, and there is no longer a reason to believe that superior analysis will lead to profit or even safety.

This isn’t just about speculators – it is also about farmers, shippers, airlines, manufacturing concerns, everyone in business who has a need to hedge.

More than four years ago I said that the government had to step in and demand that both off-balance sheet games be ended permanently and in all forms and that all derivatives had to be put on an exchange, without exception, and that every dollar of underwater position had to be backed by an actual dollar of capital in real money, held and known to be safe.

The regulators refused and now it appears that what was put up on a regulated exchange was effectively stolen.

Well folks, then none of your investment accounts — not your IRA, 401k, not even your bank account — is safe.

Diversification is a strategy but the risk remains. It is up to you to decide how much you’re willing to risk losing to a crook. If the answer is “none” or you cannot reduce the at-risk portion of your assets to what you’re willing to lose to fraud then you can no longer participate in the market at all, in any form, nor even do business with a bank.

That sucks, but it is what it is and if this meme spreads — and it will until it’s stopped — we run the risk of a “sudden stop” economic event.

I hope you’re ready for it — I am to the best of my ability, and you ought to be.”

+++

What this all means is the following:

  • The contract between financial corporations like MF Global and the people is broken.
  • The “little people” entrust their hard-earned cash to the corporation to manage, for a handsome fee. But, instead of stewarding their clients’ money, the corporation takes that money to invest in dubious vehicles, such as government bonds issued by heavily indebted countries — without their clients’ knowledge, much less permission. Put bluntly, this is theft.
  • Our government is supposed to regulate and supervise the financial corporations’ activities. But the regulators, as in the case of Bernie Madoff, didn’t and do not do what taxpayers are paying them to do.
  • The corporation’s investments go bust. It declares bankruptcy. Its clients’ monies have disappeared or are “frozen” (which means the same thing: You can’t withdraw your money from the institution).
  • Bankruptcy means the corporation’s total debts are more than its total assets, which means there is no money to pay the clients. And since the various financial instruments offered by brokerages such as MF Global are not government-insured, this means the clients cannot recover their money, unless Congress decides to step in with a bail-out, which only means even more debt for an already broke United States of America.

This is not the first time a large financial institution has robbed and lost the money of its clients. Think the S&L crisis of the 1980s, the Madoff investment scandal in 2008. and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy of 2008.

Nor is this the first time government regulators failed to do their job.

When institutions — financial and government — violate their compact with the people, basic trust erodes. But societies, especially highly complex societies like ours, cannot operate without a certain level of basic trust. In its place, we increasingly see short-sighted selfishness and rapacious greed. It’s every man for himself….

I’m not a financial adviser and I’m not offering any financial advice here. But if you have any money invested with brokerages, get professional independent financial advice. Better yet, learn about the various investment vehicles by reading and listening to financial advisers on talk radio. It’s not really that complicated. Then, THINK FOR YOURSELF.

Updates:

On Nov. 23, 2011, a judge ruled that MF Global’s clients won’t be allowed to form a committee to represent their interests in bankruptcy court.

Gary Gensler, the head of CFTC — the federal government agency that’s supposed to oversee MF Global — just so happens to have worked under Jon Corzine when both were at Goldman Sachs.

Jon Corzine, who has been publicly silent since his brokerage’s spectacular collapse, has been asked to appear before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House financial Services Committee on 15 December. Read about his hearing, here.

~Eowyn