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Are MF Global Customer Funds Being Looted to This Day Through the Same Risky Trading That Sunk the Firm?

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Reposted from our blog at EconomicPolicyJournal.com

As MF Global customers approach the one month anniversary of the cluster-circus that has become the liquidation proceedings, replete with unnecessary delays, half-measures, and outright deceptive statements by Trustee James W. Giddens (that will only ensure the proliferation of hours billable at $890 each), we wish to highlight an order entered just days after the bankruptcy that gave MF Global Holdings and its affiliates carte blanche to continue the very risky and suspicious trading that led to its demise. A hearing is set for Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm on this and other germane matters, including the super priority status of JP Morgan Chase (the conflicted first-lien holder) afforded to it ahead of the customers whose segregated accounts were putatively to have been held sacrosanct.

 

On November 2, 2011, the bankruptcy judge entered a seemingly innocuous order that granted an extension of time to the Debtors (MF Global Holdings Ltd. and MF Global Finance USA Inc.) to comply with the requirements of Section 345(b) of the Bankruptcy Code and an authorization of the continuation of intercompany transactions among the Debtors and non-Debtor affiliates. Detailed arguments were provided in the 19 page Motion of the Debtors filed the day of their October 31, 2011 bankruptcy.

 

Of particular interest are the arguments for allowance of the continuation of extant investment practices. When reading the pleading, note that "Company" refers specifically to MF Global Inc., the broker dealer/futures commission merchant unit that did NOT file for bankruptcy, while "Debtors" refers to MF Global Holdings and MF Global Finance, which did file for bankruptcy. "Debtors" and "Company" are frequently mixed within paragraphs, which either causes confusion as to intent or allows for an expansive interpretation that justifies the continued looting of customer accounts. All emphasis herein is ours, except for headings:

D. The Debtors Should Be Authorized to Continue Their Investment Practices

 

23...The Deposit and Investment Practices are governed by an investment policy, which provides that such investment activities must comply with federal and state regulations, as well as any regulations imposed by its regulators. In addition, the investment policy describes the Company’s permissible investments, which include: (a) government securities and government guaranteed securities; (b) money funds; (c) United States Treasury and government money funds; (d) federal agency obligations; (e) corporate obligations; (f) money market instruments; and (g) other permissible investments approved by the Company’s investment committee from time to time.

The blanket generalization in (g) opens the door to any of the investments that the Company, MF Global Inc., had engaged in previously, including the famed $6.3 billion in European debt [off balance sheet] repo-to-maturity trades. Ordinarily, any such investments not guaranteed directly or indirectly by the US government would be subject to a performance bond:

 

24. Bankruptcy Code section 345(a) authorizes a debtor-in-possession to make deposits or investments of estate money in a manner “as will yield the maximum reasonable net return on such money, taking into account the safety of such deposit or investment.” 11 U.S.C. § 345(a). If a deposit or investment is not “insured or guaranteed by the United States or by a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or backed by the full faith and credit of the United States,” Bankruptcy Code section 345(b) provides that the debtor must require that the entity with which the deposit or investment is made obtain a bond in favor of the United States that is secured by the undertaking of an adequate corporate surety. Id. § 345(b).

 

However, arguments would be made for an exemption:

 

25. The Court has discretion to modify the section 345(b) requirements “for cause.” 11 U.S.C. § 345(b). Indeed, while these requirements may be “‘wise in the case of a smaller debtor with limited funds that cannot afford a risky investment to be lost, [they] can work to needlessly handcuff larger, more sophisticated debtors...

 

Sophisticated, indeed. The pleading continues with a rather confusing paragraph that implies the exemption from a performance bond is required for investments that would be in bank accounts, the balances of which exceed FDIC insurance limits. Yet, the final sentence implies there is more going on than simple bank account sweeps when it mentions "[investments and deposits] made by non-Debtor affiliates engaging in the Company's core investments businesses." (Again, "Company" refers to the broker dealer/futures commission merchant unit, while "Debtors" refers to MF Global Holdings and MF Global Finance.)

 

26. The Debtors submit that the circumstances of this case warrant such relief. The Company is a large, sophisticated entity with a complex Cash Management System that relies on multiple Banks and Bank Accounts on a daily basis. The Bank Accounts used by the Debtors are maintained in the United States and are with stable financial institutions that are insured by the FDIC. Furthermore, in light of the regular deposits and sweeps of the Bank Accounts, requiring the Debtors, or any entity with which money is deposited or invested by the Debtors in accordance with the Deposit and Investment Practices, to incur the expense of posting a bond to the extent that the balances of these accounts exceed FDIC insurance limits at a given time would be especially burdensome and wasteful. Finally, in addition to the Company’s own investment policies that serve as a safeguard of the Debtors’ funds, there is a significant distinction between the Debtors’ own investments and deposits—which support the Debtors’ cash-management function—and those made by non-Debtor affiliates engaging in the Company’s core investments businesses.

 

27. Accordingly, the Court should authorize the Debtors to continue to deposit funds and invest in accordance with the Deposit and Investment Practices and grant the Debtors a 60-day extension, without prejudice to seek further extensions, to either comply with Bankruptcy Code section 345(b) or to make other arrangements that would be acceptable to the U.S. Trustee.

 

The Debtors then argue, through a series of complex legal arguments, to be explicitly allowed to continue with intercompany transactions, the relevance of which will be explained following the excerpts.

 

E. The Debtors Should Be Authorized to Continue Intercompany Transactions

28. The Debtors’ books and records also reflect numerous other intercompany account balances among various Debtors as of the Petition Date. All prepetition intercompany account balances have been frozen, as of the Petition Date, and the treatment of such claims will be determined as part of an overall reorganization plan for the Debtors.

 

29. To ensure that each individual Debtor will not, at the expense of its creditors, fund the operations of another Debtor entity, the Debtors respectfully request that, pursuant to section 364(c)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, all intercompany claims against a Debtor by another Debtor arising after the Petition Date as a result of intercompany transactions and allocations (“Postpetition Intercompany Claims”) be accorded superpriority status, with priority over any and all administrative expenses of the kind specified in sections 503(b) and 507(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, subject and subordinate only to (a) any order granting adequate protection to the prepetition secured lenders and (b) other valid liens...

 

30. In addition, in connection with their role under the Cash Management System facilitating the operations of the non-Debtor affiliates, the Debtors may, in the ordinary course of business, periodically infuse capital into certain of their subsidiaries and affiliates, including non-Debtor non-U.S. affiliates. These infusions of capital generally are accomplished through the making of intercompany loans. The Debtors use repayments of such loans as a tax efficient method of managing cash throughout their worldwide business enterprise. Because the non-Debtor affiliates are part of the same group of affiliated entities as the Debtors, the entirety of intercompany transactions among Debtors and non-Debtor affiliates alike remain within the spectrum of the Debtors’ control.

 

31. The relief requested herein is necessary because certain non-Debtor affiliates may require intercompany advances in order to maintain their liquidity and going concern value. Courts frequently have granted such superpriority status to postpetition intercompany claims in cases such as this. ...

 

33. The Cash Management System allows the Debtors to track all obligations owing between related entities and thereby ensures that all setoffs of intercompany transactions will meet both the mutuality and timing requirements of section 553 of the Bankruptcy Code. Therefore, the Debtors respectfully request that the Debtors and their non-Debtor affiliates be expressly authorized to set off prepetition obligations arising on account of intercompany transactions between a Debtor and another Debtor or between a Debtor and a non-Debtor affiliate. Further, the Intercompany Transactions provide numerous benefits to the Debtors. The Debtors therefore seek to continue the Intercompany Transactions postpetition in the ordinary course of their businesses.

 

While it might be desirable under a "normal" financial company bankruptcy to seek maximization of benefits to the Debtors such that creditors be paid as much as possible during recovery, MF Global Inc customers (who are NOT creditors) can currently expect at best a 60% recovery going into mid-December and should be placed first in line until 100% recovery is obtained. Further, from the numerous conflations and generalizations in the paragraphs above that allow, for among other things, payments to non-US affiliates, it is possible that the looting of MF Global customer funds continues to this day. We wonder if this is why the MF Global trustee continually revises upwards the estimated maximum loss of customer funds.

 

As to exactly how this might be possible, we pointed out as early as November 9 that the Euro debt repo-to-maturity trades were performed by MF Global Inc. with an affiliate (not Goldman or JP Morgan, as was hypothesized in the media), with the affiliate to receive 80% of profits from the transactions. Inasmuch as J. Christopher Flowers and friends were among MF Global Holdings' larges shareholders, it is conceivable that outflows continue to this day to an affiliate of Jon Corzine's good friend.

 

Given the extension granted by the judge allows these potential shenanigans to continue throughout the end of 2012, it is imperative that immediate disclosure of all trading and intercompany transfers be obtained, especially if they are being conducted to the derogation of the customers.

* * *

MF Global Customer Resources:

 

Commodity Customer Coalition (7,000 members and growing)

MFGFacts.com (twitter feed)

MyInvestorsPlace.com

EBatEPJ (website, twitter feed, email: english (at) economicpolicyjournal (dot) com)

 

* * *

Inteview with James Koutoulas of Typhon Capital Management and the Commodity Customer Coalition

Interview with Elaine of MFGFacts.com

 


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Tue, 11/29/2011 - 19:25 | Link to Comment Ron Hera
Sun, 11/27/2011 - 14:27 | Link to Comment jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Holy crap... you read all that and understood it?  I prepped myself in earnest to read this... then my eyes glazed over 2 paragraphs in.

 

Damn legalese etc.

 

Good job!

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 09:05 | Link to Comment screwedagain
screwedagain's picture
Wall street fraud in plain view of regulators JUST FACTS INVESTIGATIONS Phone 203-612-1987 November 20, 2011   The Honorable James Himes United States Representative 4th District of Connecticut Re:       The consistent pattern of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler to cover up large crimes. Dear Mr. Himes: If Jon Corzine had nothing to do with the loss and he had no idea who the identity of the executive was who did lose that money by some gamble of a rogue trader, then Corzine would have denied his own responsibility. He has not denied his own involvement in the loss or stolen money. It is therefore a ruse by the CFTC, FBI, and CME Group that they are claiming to investigate anything including any potential to recover that money that only Corzine had the authority and power to remove from any segregated account. Money has no feet and no legs to walk away by itself. Corzine stole the money and that money was lost right under the nose of the CME Group. It is your responsibility as my representative and as a member of the House Financial Services Committee to formally blame CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler for his decision to protect Corzine from criminal charges. Gensler has chosen to conspire to protect Corzine. On August 20, 2010, I asked for your oversight of the CFTC when I reported artificial prices that rigged treasury futures. When I followed up later with your staff I was dismissed by an outright lie that stated, “Your office lacked the resources to intervene with the CFTC”. When Senator Blumenthal got elected I asked him for oversight of the CFTC in the criminal rigging of treasury futures during July, August, and September 2010. The CFTC has refused to cooperate with Senator Blumenthal. I identified 83 precise times and prices when PIMCO used the necessary mountain of treasury contracts (30 year, 10 year, and 5 year) necessary to artificially bid treasury prices higher. I am attaching my letters to Senator Blumenthal for your review. These are the official prices from the CME time and sales register.

On 7/15/2010 the September Treasury bond contract (USU symbol) was 126-08 at 0730.

On 8/25/2010 the USU was 136-28 at 0900, an increase of $10,625 on a $100,000 bond contract. How many consecutive legitimate winners can any trader make? This will be sent to Senator Blumenthal and Gary Gensler too.
Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:51 | Link to Comment cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

People need to realize this MFG customer looting isn't a one-time thing. It's a test run to measure people's reaction to being looted.

If people's reaction is mild, just a bunch of looted sheep whining and bitching about it, which it appears to be at this point, then expect more cases of massive customer looting ahead.

MFG is where they're officially moving to the next phase, directly stealing funds in people's accounts.  It starts with brokerage accounts that have little or no government backstop. 

Next will be bank accounts, irrespective of government backstop.  It may be FDIC insured, but you'll wait 6 -12 months to get your money back.

Later on you won't get your money back at all.  They'll maintain FDIC insurance so you'll keep money in your bank account, but when the bank fails you'll never get that money back.

How do I know?  Because analysts are publicly saying it:

Some analysts say the shock waves of such an event would risk the collapse of the entire financial system, leaving banks unable to return money to retail depositors ... 

All of it leads up to the really huge looting, grabbing people's 401k and pension funds.  

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 08:52 | Link to Comment screwedagain
screwedagain's picture

I have had commodity accounts since 1969. What you are saying is an untrue farce. To be informed read my book published in 2005 -- titled Just Cause Just Facts. Read my current posts about the PIMCO case on my blog http://overthecoals.blogspot.com/

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 02:33 | Link to Comment palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Jon Crimescene

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 22:09 | Link to Comment f16hoser
f16hoser's picture

Biden likes Corzine. Nuff said.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:30 | Link to Comment gkm
gkm's picture

This does make sense. I had been speculating that Corzine was sent in by GS to make them some money without really knowing how it was done. Maybe I wasn't right about the details but essentially it would be nothing for Corzine to have an offshore account that would be the inverse of MFG's health so to speak. Then rape and pillage. Why not if you can make more money more quickly than by gutting it out doing a real job and sharing your setup with your buddies to boot. Another inside job.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 23:43 | Link to Comment Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

He has a seperate off shore account that does the complete opposite of this company and then use this bought entity to make money.  Which is do crazy bets and everyone else get insurance on those pets going bad.  Somebody made alot of money on MF Global going bad, you can bet on it.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:47 | Link to Comment Outlaw Of The W...
Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

sent to torpedo responsible hedging (called commodity speculation) and wreck the food supply.

he's a jew.

Hitler was right.

 

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:19 | Link to Comment penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

is that MF'er Corzine STILL not in jail?

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:05 | Link to Comment Outlaw Of The W...
Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

joe corzine, even though he looks more "jewish" than any rabbi and dates only the jewiest of jewy sluts is obviously a Unitarian (whatever the fuck that is).  His wikipedia says so.

dov kazheim?  whereabouts unknown.  rumored to be Unitarian as well.

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:27 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

even worse. friggin' Unitarians man. does it get any lower?

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 19:47 | Link to Comment Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

J P Morgan Chase.

AKA ,American Goverment.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 19:26 | Link to Comment PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

"Making money the good 'ole fashion American way....Stealing it!"

 

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 18:39 | Link to Comment AndrewCostello
AndrewCostello's picture

The Answer is simple - YES.

 

Join the Revolution:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gun-Owners-for-a-Gold-Standard/180803025347901

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 18:32 | Link to Comment Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

Regardless of what the judge says, Corzine should be fucking hanged!

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:28 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

even worse! he get's to testify before Congress! Dear God, how will he survive the grilling?

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 19:31 | Link to Comment ejhickey
ejhickey's picture

No!  Not hanged !  He  should be made to run a one mile gaunlet lined with MF Global customers armed with sticks .   If he is still alive at the end , he goes free but he has to be able to walk on his own.   

what size sticks?  your choice - broom handles , axe handles , car antennas, etc.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:50 | Link to Comment Outlaw Of The W...
Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

kill his children.  Make examples of them.  Ruin and scatter their bodies.  

Then kill his parents if they are still alive and let them be a public spectacle.

kill every relative.

leave none alive

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:30 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Now you're starting to sound more like an in-law than an outlaw.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 18:08 | Link to Comment eroc66
eroc66's picture

Blast from the Past!

Capitol Gains Bob Torricelli was instrumental in moving Jon Corzine from Goldman Sachs to the Senate. Now that Torricelli is in trouble, guess who's coming to his rescue -- checkbook and Wall Street friends in tow? Add Comment By Landon Thomas Jr. (Email) It's a balmy, sun-dappled evening in Middletown, New Jersey, and the state's senior Democratic senator, Robert Torricelli, has a 9/11 speech to give. Gathered before him are the family, friends, and neighbors of the 36 Middletown men and women who perished in the Trade Center attacks a year ago. It's a politician's dream moment: a rapt, patriotic audience -- kids rolling in the grass; cops, firemen, and World War II vets standing ramrod-straight -- one and all clutching flags and memorial candles. Taking in the scene, Torricelli whispers to an aide: "Is Jon here yet?"

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:32 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I heard he yells a lot and uses profanity? As in "WHERE THE PHUCK IS JON'Y MY BOY! THERE HE IS!!!" Tends to make his guests wince when he does it, too. Still...the food's friggin' awesome and the booze flows till late hours.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 18:07 | Link to Comment eroc66
eroc66's picture

 

Blast from the past....Whale securities, no pun intended.... google search excerpt,  Jon......... Capitol Gains Bob Torricelli was instrumental in moving Jon Corzine from Goldman Sachs to the Senate. Now that Torricelli is in trouble, guess who's coming to his rescue -- checkbook and Wall Street friends in tow?

It's a balmy, sun-dappled evening in Middletown, New Jersey, and the state's senior Democratic senator, Robert Torricelli, has a 9/11 speech to give. Gathered before him are the family, friends, and neighbors of the 36 Middletown men and women who perished in the Trade Center attacks a year ago. It's a politician's dream moment: a rapt, patriotic audience -- kids rolling in the grass; cops, firemen, and World War II vets standing ramrod-straight -- one and all clutching flags and memorial candles. Taking in the scene, Torricelli whispers to an aide: "Is Jon here yet?" 

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 17:26 | Link to Comment non_anon
non_anon's picture

fuck yeah, next question

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 16:41 | Link to Comment SilverDoctors
SilverDoctors's picture

Sure looks like MF Global clients' physical silver just turned up in JP Morgan registered vaults!  Take physical personal delivery of your PM's people!

http://silverdoctors.blogspot.com/2011/11/did-jp-morgan-just-convert-614000.html

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 19:38 | Link to Comment ejhickey
ejhickey's picture

I have (had) some silver with MF .  I received a notice from the Trustee that none of this property is being liquidated.  the trustee will continue to hold it until there is a determination of how much customers will have to pay to get it back.  I conclude that one way or another , all the PMs held by MF global customers are off the market for a while.

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:35 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

what happens if you get "the letter" that says "we apologize for the inconvenience but we've eaten your silver. We're from planet Zorgon and in our world silver is a delicacy."? I know i was highly despondent when i got mine.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 15:01 | Link to Comment onlooker
onlooker's picture

Public Notice: Report to the Home Land Security anything that is suspicious.

 

If anyone sees a danger to the safety of our Nation and to our National Security by the foul play, conspiracy, criminality, plots and actions that have led to the depletion of  revenues and assets of the USA and are impacting the ability of the Military and industrial complex, actions that have endangered the safety of this Nation and other Nations of the World, suspicion that the financial sectors such as The Federal Reserve and the US Treasury and major banks have, and/or are functioning to the determent of the Citizens and the Constitution  and the Local and State and Federal Governments---- then, I suggest you think about the situation and a method within the existing frame work of the system to lawfully address and demand that law be restored to this Nation.

 

It is now proven that we can not function as a lawless society and Nation.

 

 Secret and opaque government and financial systems can no longer be tolerated.

 

It is time for the present governing administration to make Change to keep this Nation from the obvious devastation ahead. It is time for the citizens and media to demand change. We can not wait until the next election. NOW is the time for all citizens (in or out of government) to come to the aid of their Country.

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:38 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

where the phuck are these Homeland Security people? I mean what, we're paying a hundred billion a year and i only see one at the airport i never go to? WTF? We should have one on every street corner with that amount of dough being blown...

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:56 | Link to Comment swani
swani's picture

Doesn't everyone love how former FBI director Louis Freeh, most famously known for his 'botching' of the September 11th investigation, is now, not only, asking to be the trustee of MF Global, but also, the 'investigator' being appointed by Penn State to 'investigate' the allegations of the cover ups of what could be a pedophile ring. This is very interesting. These are the kind of appointments that start to make conspiracy theorists sound sane.      

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 19:39 | Link to Comment ejhickey
ejhickey's picture

there is already an MF Global Trustee ,  Giddings.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 16:50 | Link to Comment El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

Oh, are you talking about Louie "The Banksters get out of Jail" Freeh?

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:41 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Actually on a serious note...and this is hard for me to do BTW...Bill Clinton totally DESPISED Director Freeh (is it Director?). Eventually they got their replacement...I think it's the current guy Mueller or Muller or Miller or Mele or something.

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 08:59 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

FBI Director Robert "Honey Pie" Mueller, his appointment approved for an additional two years beyond, iirc, the statutory term limit due to his putative exemplary management of the agency through the global financial crisis:

. . . officially becoming the FBI Director on September 4, 2001, just one week before the September 11 attacks against the United States. On May 12, 2011 it was reported that President Obama had asked Director Mueller to continue at the helm of the FBI for another 2 years beyond his current term, set to expire on September 4, 2011.[8] The Senate approved this request on July 27, 2011.[9]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mueller

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:52 | Link to Comment swani
swani's picture

Doesn't everyone love how former FBI director Louis Freeh, most famously known for his 'botching' of the September 11th investigation, is now, not only, asking to be the trustee of MF Global, but also, the 'investigator' being appointed by Penn State to 'investigate' the allegations of the cover ups of what could be a pedophile ring. This is very interesting. These are the kind of appointments that start to make conspiracy theorists sound sane.      

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:46 | Link to Comment swani
swani's picture

It makes me crazy to hear people still refer to Corzine as a 'Democrat' as if party affiliations matter at the top of the food chain of graft and corruption. We know that Koch Industries received a heads up to get out of MF Global 2 weeks before the bankruptcy. The idea that the two parties are different from each other nothing more than corporate media manufactured sheeple kool aid.  

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:43 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Sounds like the Republicans are smarter if that's the case..."pre-stealing" heads-up is always a good thing to have. And the smarts to act on it of course...

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:39 | Link to Comment dcb
dcb's picture

the mf global bailout is in process:

http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-euro-zone-may-drop-bondholder-losses-esm-210853948.html

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone states may ditch plans to impose losses on private bondholders should countries need to restructure their debt under a new bailout fund due to launch in mid-2013, four EU officials told Reuters on Friday.

Discussions are taking place against a backdrop of flagging market confidence in the region's debt and as part of wider negotiations over introducing stricter fiscal rules to the EU treaty.

Euro zone powerhouse Germany is insisting on tighter budgets

and private sector involvement (PSI) in bailouts as a precondition for deeper economic integration among euro zone countries.

Commercial banks and insurance companies are still expected to take a hit on their holdings of Greek sovereign bonds as part of the second bailout package being finalized for Athens.

But clauses relating to PSI in the statutes of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - the permanent facility scheduled to start operating from July 2013 - could be withdrawn, with the majority of euro zone states now opposed to them.

The concern is that forcing the private sector bondholders to take losses if a country restructures its debt is undermining confidence in euro zone sovereign bonds. If those stipulations are removed, most countries in the euro zone argue, market sentiment might improve.

"France, Italy, Spain and all the peripherals" are in favor of removing the clauses, one EU official told Reuters. "Against it are Germany, Finland and the Netherlands." Austria is also opposed, another source said.

A third official said that while German insistence on retaining private sector involvement in the ESM was fading, collective action clauses would only be removed as part of broader negotiations under way over changes to the EU treaty.

Berlin wants all 27 EU countries, or at least the 17 in the euro zone, to provide full backing for alterations to the treaty before it will consider giving ground on other issues member states want it to shift on, officials say.

Germany is under pressure to soften its opposition to the European Central Bank playing a more direct role in combating the crisis, and member states also want Berlin to give its backing to the idea of jointly issued euro zone bonds.

German officials dismiss any suggestion of a 'grand bargain' being put together, but officials in other euro zone capitals, including Brussels, say such a deal is taking shape and suggest Berlin will move when it has the commitments it is seeking, although it's unclear when that will be.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Strasbourg on Thursday that there was no quid pro quo being set up.

"This is not about give and take," she said.

Euro zone finance ministers will discuss the ESM at a meeting in Brussels on November 29-30, including the implications of dropping collective action clauses from its statutes.

COMPLICATIONS

While most euro zone countries just want to forget about enforced private sector involvement, some are adamant that there must be a way to ensure banks and not just taxpayers shoulder some of the costs of bailing countries out.

Austria's opposition Green Party, whose support the government needs to secure backing for the ESM in the Vienna parliament, insists collective action clauses must remain a part of the ESM. It's also far from unclear whether the finance committee of the German lower house Bundestag would agree to such changes being made to the ESM.

Any changes to the mechanism would have to be approved by all member states and ratified by national parliaments before they can take effect, meaning fixed Austrian and German opposition could derail the push for changes.

Germany and some other member states were hoping to bring the ESM, which will have a lending capacity of 500 billion euros, into force as early as July next year, but disagreement over its structure could delay that.

(Reporting by Julien Toyer, John O'Donnell and Luke Baker in Brussels, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Mike Shields in Vienna; writing by Luke Baker; editing by Rex Merrifield, John Stonestreet)

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:41 | Link to Comment dcb
dcb's picture

first there was the lehman lesson, now tyuhere is hte mfglobal lesson. no bank tradign house shall ever be allowed to suffer losses on it's trades because if they did the very weatlhy would loose a lot of money

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:26 | Link to Comment vipmoneymachine
vipmoneymachine's picture

Corzine is a Jew and Grover Norquist is a Homosexual, any questions ?

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 18:10 | Link to Comment Fake Jim Quinn
Fake Jim Quinn's picture

John Corzine is a Unitarian. He is not Jewish. I know nothing of Grover. Have you been up his ass? Is that why you know this information? That is my question

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 04:17 | Link to Comment Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

Unitarians can be anything, but Corzine is actually United Church of Christ, which is W.A.S.P.-y aka "white shoe."

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:43 | Link to Comment dcb
dcb's picture

Jesus was a jew too. thank god the roman's got him. greedy bastard got exactly what he deserved.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 15:01 | Link to Comment realitybiter
realitybiter's picture

Jesus was a practicing Jew.  Most of these clowns raping people via "finance", that call themselves Jews are JINO's  Jews in name only.

Else, they would have been demanding debt jubilee a long time ago, as their scripture demanded.  But to them, the bible is just a "God Damn piece of paper" (sorry, W, it was so good).  And being a Jew is simply membership into the money club, not a moral compass.  Kinda like Pelosi is a Catholic.  Which is really convenient until you bring up the topic of abortion.  Darn it!

Blankfein is going to find out what is REALLY God's work one of these days.  Perchance to dream.

Let vengeance be the Lord's, you POS.  God, if they only sold tickets......

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 19:36 | Link to Comment Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

You people are spreading false info, obviously for a reason.

Corzine is NOT a Jew. He has never been a Jew. He belongs to the United Church Of Christ. He is a Christian, or at least pretends to be.  He is also of Italian descent.

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:47 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

An Italian Unitarian? Dear God...no wonder we're in trouble here! He'll probably pull out the Declaration of Independence next and claim "i'm pursuing happiness...it just happens to be mine this time."

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:09 | Link to Comment Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Pass Go. Collect $200.00.

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 13:39 | Link to Comment Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture

"Ye cannot," said the Great Teacher, "serve God and Mammon."

When the thirst for wealth becomes general, it will be sought for as well dishonestly as honestly; by frauds and overreachings, by the knaveries of trade, the heartlessness of greedy speculation, by gambling in stocks and commodities that soon demoralizes a whole community.

Men will speculate upon the needs of their neighbors and the distresses of their country.
Bubbles that, bursting, impoverish multitudes, will be blown up by cunning knavery, with stupid credulity as its assistants and instrument.

Huge bankruptcies, that startle a country like the earthquakes, and are more fatal, fraudulent assignments, engulfment of the savings of the poor, expansions and collapses of the currency, the crash of banks, the depreciation of Government securities, prey on the savings of self-denial, and trouble with their depredations the first nourishment of infancy and the last sands of life, and fill with inmates the churchyards and lunatic asylums."

"Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry", Albert Pike, 1871

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 16:43 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

+1 Franken... You Iosif Dzhugashvili lookin' mofo...

An Albert Pike quote is always tasteful and timely when watching the widow's sons looting us...

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