What does the collapse of MF Global have to do with fighting Sharia finance? Everything!
The financial world is still feeling the tremors of the MF Global scandal months after its failure on Halloween, 2011. Public confidence in the futures industry has not been restored, as seen in the recent downgrade by the S & P of the organization that was supposed to regulate MF Global. Damaged trust in the futures industry could lead to wild fluctuations in the prices of everyday commodities, bringing widespread economic disturbance to the U.S., and the rest of the world.
Moreover, without financial integrity in our own house, we cannot successfully deal with the intrusion of Sharia finance into our system. So far, the general effort to increase Sharia awareness has focused mainly on the insinuation of Sharia finance into banks. This is a necessary alert, but it is not enough. Historically, Islamist money gained inroads in Europe through corrupt business people and government officials, as Bat Ye’or informs us in her many well researched articles and books.
The crisis in our own financial system became glaringly evident in the way regulatory agencies reacted after the collapse of the commodities brokerage firm, MF Global, under Jon Corzine’s leadership. Instead of protecting the customers of MF Global, these agencies robbed customers and let MF Global invent ways to get off the hook.
MF Global was a Futures Commission Merchant. There are clear rules for how FCM’s must operate, which were violated. Customer money is to be held in segregated accounts. That means a customer’s money is separate from the company’s accounts. It is inviolate, sacrosanct even. The FCM is supposed to earn its income only from commissions and from investing customer money in just one thing, 90 day US Treasury notes, which has so far been assumed to be the safest possible fund. Brokerage houses may not invest customer money in higher risk instruments and they may not use customer money to offset their own losses.
If I put my car in a parking garage, I expect to get it back, even if the garage goes bankrupt and would like to take my car to pay off its debts. Jon Corzine made a bet on the Euro that he could not cover with his own collateral and then he reached into customer accounts to make up the difference. Formerly, he would have been immediately punished and the customers made whole by the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) which has a fiduciary duty to protect brokerage customers.
This time was different. Corzine was not charged with theft. The customers were not made whole. Corzine was even allowed to float a nonsense story about MF Global being an investment bank, not a brokerage house. That would mean that his customers agreed to entrust other people - asset handlers - to make decisions about how to invest their money. But that was pure B.S. Investors signed up for segregated accounts that they would manage themselves, not accounts managed by others. Watch this video of prominent market analyst Gerard Celente, founder and director of Trends Research Institute, describe how his funds were stolen by MF Global.
The CME itself reached into Celente’s supposedly safe account and withdrew money, without notifying him. He is just one example and there are other victims of the CME. Do you realize how bizarre, corrupt, and lawless this is? The CME is supposed to make good on brokerage failures, indemnifying customers against the bankruptcy of brokerage houses. Instead, they took the money they were supposed to protect. An analogy would be the FDIC, supposed to guarantee bank deposits up to $250,000, taking money out of customers’ accounts because it “needed it.”
So why did the CME betray its charter and its fiduciary responsibility to those who trusted it? According to Jamie Parisi, CME’s chief financial officer, the CME was “over collateralized” regarding MF Global. In other words, they did not have enough money to cover MF Global. Do they have enough money to cover other brokerage houses?
No, they do not. According to the information that seasoned commodities broker Ann Barnhardt has among her contacts, most of the brokerage houses are in the same perilous position MF Global was. They are exposed, one way or another, to bad Euro debts. That massive currency system, as you know, is teetering and may not survive, which would inflict immeasurable damage on other currencies, including our own.
We are looking at a collapse of the financial system that is unprecedented. The alarm that should be raised in the general media is just about non-existent. Watch this video of two experienced traders, Warren Pollack and Karl Denninger, talk about the loss of safety for all trading accounts in the aftermath of MF Global and the mammoth damage to the general economy that would ensue from another failure of public trust in the regulatory agencies to protect customers against theft. Gonzolo Lira has an especially eloquent description of what the MF Global collapse means in terms of a possible run on the worldwide banking system. A website Rush Limbaugh refers to from time to time, market-ticker.org also discusses the present lawlessness of the financial world.
By the way, do you think the banks you are dealing with are well capitalized? Try asking them for specifics about their capital vs. their loans. I did and got a lot of run around and eventually only empty generalities.
And by the way again, let’s drop our unearned smugness about having less corruption in our system than Mexico and take a closer look at what happened to banks after the crash of 2008. Wachovia, which then became Wells Fargo is cited here, but the problem of money laundering by American banks as a way to raise capital is widespread.
Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank’s $12.3bn profit for 2009….
At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence to suggest the proceeds from drugs and crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the brink of collapse.
The investigation against Corzine so far looks like a mere pro forma affair. He has never been accused of theft and when asked where the money is, he has been allowed to get away with disingenuously saying, “I just don’t know.” How does Corzine get away with it? He’s deeply embedded in the Obama crony system, having recently hosted a fundraiser for Obama in his own apartment which cost $35,000 a plate.
It makes no sense to focus solely on the threat of Sharia finance to our Constitution, the foundation for our legal structure, while ignoring the collapse of the rule of law itself. How are we supposed to withstand Sharia if our own system of laws is held in contempt—by us as a nation? If the building people live in is falling down, they must attend to that in order to have a strong enough structure to repel the intrusion of hostile foreign entities.
The counter-jihad movement needs to broaden its perspective to include the destruction of our financial system and find effective ways to stop it.
Madeline Brooks is a counter-jihad activist and writer living in New York City.