Friday, November 16, 2012

Media Report NO Criminal Charges in MF Global Expected


The New York Times and Washington Post emphasize a "risk taking" culture fostered by Corzine and a failure of regulators in the MF Global scam.

Neither news report addresses the fundamental criminality at issue in MF Global's "re-hypothetication" of customer accounts.

What is interesting is that the Congressional report cited in both of these articles does outline the criminal suits pending.

So, why are the media focusing on a "risk taking culture" and "regulatory failure" rather than addressing the criminality at the heart of this stinking mess?  

Before reading The New York Times and Washington Post apologias, take a look at this very insightful and critical account of MF Global misdeeds:

 MF Global and the great Wall St re-hypothecation scandal Christopher Elias http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Securities/Insight/2011/12_-_December/MF_Global_and_the_great_Wall_St_re-hypothecation_scandal/

(EXCERPT FROM Business Law Currents) "A legal loophole in international brokerage regulations means that few, if any, clients of MF Global are likely to get their money back. Although details of the drama are still unfolding, it appears that MF Global and some of its Wall Street counterparts have been actively and aggressively circumventing U.S. securities rules at the expense (quite literally) of their clients. 

MF Global's bankruptcy revelations concerning missing client money suggest that funds were not inadvertently misplaced or gobbled up in MF’s dying hours, but were instead appropriated as part of a mass Wall St manipulation of brokerage rules that allowed for the wholesale acquisition and sale of client funds through re-hypothecation. 

A loophole appears to have allowed MF Global, and many others, to use its own clients’ funds to  finance an enormous $6.2 billion Eurozone repo bet. 

If anyone thought that you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too in the world of finance, MF Global shows how you can have your cake, eat it, eat someone else’s cake and then let your clients pick up the bill. Hard cheese for many as their dough goes missing...."
 
Majia here: Now look at how the New York Times and Washington Post represent the scandal: 
 
House Report Says Corzine’s Risky Bets Aided MF Global’s Fall Ben Protess New York Times http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/congressional-report-blames-corzine-for-mf-globals-collapse/?nl=business&emc=edit_dlbkpm_20121114  
 
[Excerpted] Regulators continue to investigate how MF Global improperly transferred about $1 billion in customer money to pay its own bills. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission could still file a civil enforcement action charging Mr. Corzine with failing to supervise the employees who tapped the customer accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people briefed on the matter, is also building potential civil cases surrounding the firm’s public disclosures. 
 
But federal investigators do not expect to file criminal charges against top executives, said the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigations are private. 



...“Corzine dramatically changed MF Global’s business model,” Mr. Neugebauer said, “without fully understanding the risks associated with such a radical transformation.”

Report on MF Global faults regulators. The Washington Post by Dina ElBoghdady Nov 15, 3012 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/report-on-mf-global-faults-regulators/2012/11/15/f8fd87b6-2f62-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines 

[Excerpted] Regulators failed to adequately protect customers of the failed brokerage MF Global because they did not communicate with each other leading up to the firm’s collapse, a report released Thursday by Republicans on a House panel concluded.


Majia here: Report available here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/business/documents/mfglobal-report-house-comittee-121115.pdf

The report makes explicit on page 3 that it is not examining criminality
[Excerpted from report p. 3] This report addresses issues falling within the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Financial Services. Accordingly, the Subcommittee has not conducted a forensic examination of MF Global’s accounting practices, nor has it assessed the potential civil or criminal liability of the company and its former employees. Such judgments are the proper province of the Trustee for the liquidation of MFGI and law enforcement and regulatory agencies.

Majia here: the report does outline ongoing criminal investigations on pages 74-75

[Excerpted] Ongoing Criminal and Civil Investigations and Litigation
MF Global is currently the subject of multiple civil and criminal investigations in jurisdictions around the world. In the U.S., the company and its former employees remain the subject of an investigation by the Department of Justice, led by U.S. Attorneys in Chicago and New York. Additionally, the company is under investigation by both the SEC and the CFTC. MF Global’s customers, shareholders, and former employees have commenced litigation against the company and its executives in multiple jurisdictions.456 Those actions filed pre-petition against the company have been stayed pursuant to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.457 However, several post-petition actions filed against Corzine by MF Global’s customers and shareholders are currently pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.458


So, why aren't the media focusing on the criminal investigations?

PREVIOUS POSTS

Nov 15, 2012
Criminal behavior is at the heart of the crisis and it continues with the Libor scandal, MF Global, etc. In a different article, Black concludes that the FBI is NO longer chasing white collar criminals: William Black: Why Nobody ...
Jan 30, 2012
[excerpted] (Business Law Currents) A legal loophole in international brokerage regulations means that few, if any, clients of MF Global are likely to get their money back.... it appears that MF Global and some of its Wall Street ...
Jul 26, 2012
The MF Global scandal is significant in two ways. First, it is significant because it demonstrated the lack of regard held for customer collateral accounts by the financial industry. Second, it illustrates how a process known as ...
Nov 22, 2011
"The amount of money missing from customer accounts at MF Global Holding Ltd.'s brokerage unity could total over $1.2 billion, more than double the previous estimate." Majia here: Corruption, Fraud, and Outright ...
 
Dec 08, 2011
(EXCERPT FROM Business Law Currents) "A legal loophole in international brokerage regulations means that few, if any, clients of MF Global are likely to get their money back. Although details of the drama are still unfolding, ...
Aug 16, 2012
[Excerpted] A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top ...
 


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