Just opinion on my part, but I know a little about sueing for 'lost revenue'. It is VERY DIFFICULT to prove losses that were never possible to transpire and especially over a very short term like this. The argument would simply be that it could have also saved the CTA's from losses and there is no way to prove either for certain.
Dow Jones Newswires/Wall Street Journal 5:08 p.m. CST, November 17, 2011
Regulators have unearthed more details about MF Global Holdings Inc.'s activities in the days before its bankruptcy filing that suggest the securities firm shifted hundreds of millions of dollars in customer funds to its own brokerage accounts, according to people familiar with the matter.
MF Global's internal records indicate that the company moved segregated customer funds in transactions as large as hundreds of millions of dollars at a time, these people said. The money was transferred out of the unit that houses the assets of futures-trading customers and went into the accounts of MF Global's brokerage, people familiar with the situation said.
Such moves could violate regulations stipulating that commodities brokers can't mix customer funds with brokerage funds. Brokerage funds often are used to back proprietary-trading positions.
MF Global officials are still working to piece together what happened in the last days before the Oct. 31 bankruptcy filing. It is common practice among futures brokers to maintain a buffer of firm capital in customer segregated accounts to protect against possible customer losses.
However, MF Global officials believe it was acceptable to use that buffer when needed for the company's own purposes, people familiar with the matter said.
Still, it appears increasingly likely to regulators from their investigation so far that MF Global burned through all of its capital buffer during the week before the bankruptcy filing, and then started tapping customer funds, according to people familiar with the matter.
Whether that occurred intentionally or by mistake in the confusion of the securities firm's moves to stave off bankruptcy isn't clear. But the money, estimated at about $600 million, still is missing and might never be recovered.
Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Scott O'Malia said in a statement this week that it “appears that MF Global failed this fundamental responsibility” to not commingle customer and proprietary funds.
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It appears the definition of a seg account needs to understood. Don Miller is right - A seg account is just about the safest account there is. Because the CFTC and NFA definition is that it cannot have a counter party risk (as it should be).
Only physical Gold is a better asset class. No bank account has this status, other than those protected by FDIC insurance. That is also debatable, since in a liquidity or confidence crisis (such as that in 2008) can result in blocked funds in banks as well. Those that believe a bank account has no counter party risk in fractional banking system need to be careful about their perceptions.
There are complete grounds for the the class action lawsuit against the regulators in this case since the very definition of a seg account was violated by either deceit or neglect. And when this sordid saga is eventually over, if the Judicial system is fair it will bring ground breaking changes to the futures industry.
Of course, nothing in the US surprises me any more. So will the guys at MF global, the regulators at CME/CFTC and NFA go to jail over this, as they should. And every single seg account be made 100% whole again, is another story.
For once I hope those bottom feeder class action lawyers make them all pay punitively.
This is in its very essence, a breakdown of the law of the first degree. And the law is ineffective in protecting the public because the government is too corrupt to enforce existing rules or extract severe penalties when rules get broken (and because the government is ultimately a reflection of us, the blame comes back at us, the person in the mirror).
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“appears that MF Global failed this fundamental responsibility”; too nice words. Sounded like they deliberately were trying to cover their behinds in the last days before bankruptcy. Thinking they could get away with it long enough without it being reported and trying to get bought out, but the news hit the fan the same day and the potential buyers pulled out, and I do hope enough of them go to jail and the SEC gets real reform and expansion of investigative powers and resources.
Last edited by Cloudy; November 18th, 2011 at 09:04 AM.
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I agree with this. I prefer to keep the minimum in my trading accounts to cover margin and the appropriate risk in which I'm taking on relative to the size I'm trading. I take out my monthly profits as well which are re-invested in various passive investments. I don't trust keeping a large chunk of my net worth in a brokerage account of any kind. On another thread, I discussed the risks associated with brokerage firms, accounts and asset/securities titling. The last thing I need is to have my money locked up with a firm. I utilize a traditional trust company to handle my long term investments (mainly fixed income). My assets are held on a true fiduciary platform and all the securities are titled in my name (investment entity) rather than in street name or book entry. In the case of a firm failure/BK, there would be no confusion over who's money is who's.
I had money with MF Global a few years ago and felt their overall approach to managing their business and balance sheet was very concerning. I also had money with Penson and am a bit wary of them as well as they appear to be very similar to MF and moved my money out of there as well a while back. I highly recommend using an FCM that does not engage in anything other pure trading and clearing for it's clients.
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