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MF Global looting can continue! Missing funds and fees likely to go higher: Guest Post by MFGFacts.com

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In response to our Friday post, MFGFacts has distilled the essence and made a bit more readable our thoughts on the blanket authorization given by the Judge early on in the MF Global bankruptcy to allow the bankrupt holding company to continue risky trading and distributing funds to affiliates, including those overseas.  Thanks to all those working toward achieving 100% return of MF Global customer funds as quickly as possible.  

Reposted with permission from MFGFacts.com:

 

Within days of the  of the MF Global bankruptcy, the court approved a motion granting what is essentially authorization to continue commingle and use customer funds held at MFGI broker unit.

Bob English, writing on EconomicPolicyJournal.com shines a bright light into this dark corner:  The grant of this seemingly routine motion gives those that control the bankrupt holding company the green light to further plunder segregated customer accounts held at MF Global, Inc. (the Futures Commission Merchant), while the Trustee racks up additional billable hours at $891.00 per hour. Additionally ,the recipients of customer funds via approved “intercompany” transactions could be assured priority status over customers of MF Global Inc.

The rapidly filed pleading was to allow, among other things, AUTHORIZING THE CONTINUATION OF INTERCOMPANY TRANSACTIONS AMONG THE DEBTORS AND NON-DEBTOR AFFILIATES AND ACCORDING SUPER PRIORITY STATUS TO ALL POSTPETITION INTERCOMPANY CLAIMS.

On the Motion

In this motion, MF Global Holdings, Ltd (Parent Company) and MF Global Finance (Subsidiary) MF are the named debtors.  MF Global, Inc. (the FMC) while not named is a non-debtor affiliate.  This is an important distinction and explains much of the ongoing confusion of what is now the  “cluster circus.”   As Robert English points out, and as we read in the filing, only MF Global Finance and MF Global Holdings, Ltd. declared bankruptcy on this day. MF Global, Inc (the FCM holding segregated funds) did not declare bankruptcy and was not a debtor.

Additionally, the language of this pivotal motion, filed in a flurry, adds even more confusion.  “Debtor” and “Company” appears to be used interchangeably throughout.  Just an example:  “Accordingly, the efficiencies realized by permitting the Debtors to maintain their current Bank Accounts and serve as a conduit for the Company’s cash management system would preserve value for both the Debtors…”  Yet “Company” as English points out, “refers specifically to MF Global Inc., the broker dealer/futures commission merchant unit that did NOT file for bankruptcy.” And “Debtors” refers to MF Global Holdings and MF Global Finance, which did file for bankruptcy.  This is planted confusion which English comments, “as to intent or allows for an expansive interpretation that justifies the continued looting of customer accounts.”  We’ll see how this works:

But first, and further adding to the perplexities of that day-one motion, we note two days later, Trustee Giddens submitted a seemingly minor administrative motion seeking permission to completely change the name of the case to James W. Giddens (the “Trustee”), as Trustee for the liquidation of the business of MF Global Inc. (“MFGI” or the “Debtor”).

(Meanwhile, MF Global Holdings,Ltd.  and almost month after given permission for continued trading, a Trustee was finally assigned to MF Global Holdings.)

Back to the motion in question filed on that fateful day: What happened is that it gave MF Global Holdings and it’s affiliates the ability to continue trading in the same way and in the same markets that led to its downfall.  It allows MFG Holdings and MF Global Finance to conduct business “as normal.”  (Remember MF Global Holdings, Ltd., was bankrupt, but had no Trustee at this point. )

As an important aside, this order – as we will see — this filing explains something else:  It tells us why the Trustee leaves open ever upward estimates of “missing money.”  It explains what may be behind the mystifying dueling statements between the Trustee and the CME:  The Trustee makes claims of an “apparently greater” segregated account shortfall than the initial 600 million. In contrast, the CME publicly insists the Trustee is incorrect with his projections.

But let’s go back to the analysis, of this court order giving “MF Global Holdings and its affiliates permission to continue the very risky and suspicious trading that led to its demise.” In other words, absolute authority of MF Global Holdings Ltd. to loot from customer funds that were flushed into the estate of MF Global, Inc. under the pretense of missing money that remains undiscovered.

Prepare to weep:

To highlight language from the approved motion (underlining is our own):

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.

As English explains, and aided by confusions of the court motions, this gives, authorization to trade in previously instruments, “including the famed $6.3 billion in European debt [off balance sheet] repo-to-maturity trades.”

How can this possibly be we might ask?  “Ordinarily, any such investments not guaranteed directly or indirectly by the US government are subject to a performance bond,” English writes.  But in this case, the court allowed Trustee Giddens yet another exception to the rules:

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 debtors? The irony is too much, but it gets worse and with alarming implications.  English points out, the final sentence of section 26, is not just about routine bank account sweeps among the related parts of MF Global Holdings.  The approved policies go way beyond that.

26. 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.

Remember, “Company” here refers to MF Global, Inc., the Broker Dealer and FCM, while “Debtors” refers to MF Global Holdings and MF Global Finance.

Under part 27, the motion authorized  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.

In other words, carte blanche and whatever is “acceptable to the U.S. Trustee” and with with a ability to seek further time extensions.

Aided by more legal-spinola, the court then granted continuation of “Intercompany Transactions.”

Counter to all protections of customers, Trustee Giddens secured superior status for “intercompany claims” over segregated customer deposits with this clause:

29. To ensure that each individual Debtor will not, at the expense of its creditors, fund the operations of another Debtor entity…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…

This is how the shuffling can happen, (and could be going on right now) with this “legal” looting of customer funds using, as the motion reads the efficient intercompany “Cash Management System” for intercompany loans.  I.e. the ability for MFGI to make loans to the bankrupts MF Global Holdings, Ltd.

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.

Business as usual?

On the surface this appears a normal request to efficiently seek benefit of all debtors.  But this is not what is happening here.  First, and importantly, MF Global Inc customers are not creditors. But their money has been put into the MFGI estate and is now available for loan to the bankrupt parent company and “remain within the spectrum of the Debtors’ control.

Customer funds were swept into the MF Global Inc. (MFGI) estate under the pretense of “missing money.”   Without providing any accounting, the Trustee tells the public the expected amount missing may likely continue upward.  No wonder!  This motion allows the use and commingling of all client assets. The public is being prepared for greater losses of customer funds.

The potential, now even likelihood, for additional shortfalls with this ability of continued use of customer funds is enormous.  (Not to mention the added ability for MFGI to now make payments — from the frozen customer funds –  to non-US affiliates, making clawback recovery exceedingly costly and difficult.)

How can it be possible?

Finally, English astutely asks, exactly how can it even be possible, that the Euro debt repo-to-maturity trades were performed by MF Global Inc. with an affiliate (not Goldman or JP Morgan,) to receive 80% of profits from the transactions?

How is this possible, we ask, as J. Christopher Flowers and others are among MF Global Holdings Ltd. largest shareholders?  With this approved motion it is, indeed, possible that outflows will continue [to] an affiliate of Jon Corzine’s (former) good friend and others.

With this green light from the Bankruptcy court, the abuses will most surely go on for many months to come.   It is pre-programmed in this early filing and the compensation scheme of US Courts for Bankruptcy Trustees.

An abuse of a Federal Bankruptcy court?

This discussion of the paved potential for abuse and more looting, does not even consider that is is not at all remotely in the Trustee’s interest to rapidly return customer (non-creditors) assets and liquidate MFGI. All confusion, all delays, the bigger the mess and less efficient, the more a Bankruptcy Trustee and supporting Bankruptcy industry will earn from the estate of MFGI.  Now estimated to be well over $100 million or more per year!  Added to this, and in spite of most recent announcements, few US customers will see a 60% recovery going into December.  The requirements for a 60% recovery are so rigid; we are now finding out, few can qualify according to the Trustee rules.   Who knows what additional hurdles for recovery are going to be created in the hunt for fees?

To reiterate English’s call, it is now imperative that Judge Glenn immediately demand disclosure of all trading and intercompany transfers.  Without urgent action to secure these records, protection of customers is impossible,  and the integrity of the Court forever in peril.

 

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Sat, 12/03/2011 - 00:04 | 1940825 trovaxo
trovaxo's picture

Will this event trigger a run on U.S. banks? What keeps the same meltdown from happening at Bank of America, Vanguard or whoever?

Tue, 11/29/2011 - 19:25 | 1927934 Ron Hera
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 16:18 | 1922424 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

thank you for this posting re MFGLOBAL.    fascinating stuff & the general public is clueless & doesn't understand what just went down .... kind of like 9/11 attack , where did all that gold in the sub-basement go anyway ?   

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 14:44 | 1921688 Forgiven
Forgiven's picture

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 14:19 | 1921607 onlooker
onlooker's picture

“”Why is it illegal for people to rob banks but legal for the banks to rob the people?””

Because bank robbers may use guns or other devices which can induce harm.

Loosing everything you have and living in your car or on the street and being susceptible to disease, depression and malnutrition and subjecting you’re children to danger and harm is not an USA statistic.  Destruction of the economy and the American population has not been proven to be the fault of the banks.

Overall courts support the power structure and not the rights and interest of the individual citizen.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 14:19 | 1921604 non_anon
non_anon's picture

meh, they are just doing Gods work

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:51 | 1921501 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Cement shoes. East River. Very effective.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:49 | 1921493 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

"No one could have seen this coming"...they testified to Congress.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:28 | 1921417 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

I'm sure the author will excuse us if we believe the "integrity of this court" is NOT in question, because we believe there is no integrity at all.  Federal Court will protect the oligarchs.  Hell, they ARE the oligarchs for god's sake.

 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:09 | 1921324 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Why all the surprise?

Financial instruments are created on a regular basis, promising excellent yields, while not producing any legitimate good. It is done through "trading". As long as all the trades work out, everyone gets their "yield". However, if the trade goes bad, then investors are locked out and screwed. 

As these same companies write financial regulation and are capable of owning the judges that will rule in these cases. Is it any surprise we get these results? Oh, the horreur! Someone cheated me, where's the justice?

If you play with snakes, you're going to get bitten. Many of these snakes carry world class toxins. Celente was attempting to create paper profits from trading, not producing a good or service, but trading off of leverage and is outraged he was fooled. He knew there is a problem, he was converting his profits to physical.

Until people stop playing the game for quick riches by the same people that created the game and the rules it is played by, the results will always be the same. Financial companies are criminals, would you invest your money wirth the mafia? Then, quit complaining when they stick a gun in your face and say nada for you fool...

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:07 | 1921323 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I only pressed it once, really!

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:52 | 1921269 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

i hate to break it to you babycakes but this legal fraud was planned as part of the bankruptcy.....not until a judge certified to enable and legalize criminal and fraudulent behavior was found did the stealing of customer funds begin....also, those customers will never see a goddamned dime of their money.....they can kiss it all goodbye....50%? bwaahahhahahahahaaaa!!!!

let's not be fucktarded about this story any more.....it is legally sanctioned theft and nothing whatsoever will be done about except to throw and occasional bone now and then to the dogs who will then think that justice will finally occur....it won't...

did you not learn anything about gm and chrysler bankruptcies?

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:37 | 1921447 MissCellany
MissCellany's picture

Yes. We'd all best observe closely how this goes down, because 401(k)s will get the same treatment one of these days.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:49 | 1921494 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

You can rollover 401ks into self directed (standard not roth) IRAs, but beware many 401k plans only allow one rollover per year.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:00 | 1921299 Rainman
Rainman's picture

+ 1 . And speaking as the recipient of numerous piddly little checks from massive fraud settlements, I approve this outstanding rant !!

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:17 | 1921117 Rainman
Rainman's picture

The favorite tool of the flim-flam artist is confusion. Good goin' !

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:58 | 1921050 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Corzine to be named ambassador to a country with no US extradition treaty; you heard it here first.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:44 | 1920985 Loose Caboose
Loose Caboose's picture

Celente just popped a blood vessel.

You know, it's up to the clients (read that as "victims") of MFG to get out from behind their lawyers and get their asses down to the street and start protesting right outside MFG's door.  Draw some attention to this crime as it is going down.  Not wait until it churns through the useless court system years from now and gets a white wash and a fair thee well.

This is a case where the customers are being screwed and it is their responsibility to cry bloody murder, in public.  Forget the lawyers - get a posse together.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 18:55 | 1923211 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

fuck the crooks and their crooked system ...MF creditors should pitchfork then string up Corzine and his MF staff without any delay... then hang the liquidator (Trustee my arse) and then guilotine the entire alphabet soup of NY and Chicagos gangster finance: CFTC, CME, SEC and any other initials that make them angry

the creditors out-number this cabal of crooks 100 to 1 ...use your numbers against this criminal minority 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:58 | 1921267 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

It's up to the clients (read that as "victims") of MFG to get out from  behind their lawyers and get their asses down to the street and start  protesting right outside MFG's door. Draw some attention to this crime  as it is going down. Not wait until it churns through the useless court  system years from now and gets a white wash and a fair thee well.

Sorry, that needs be reconstructed, using past tenses....back when it still had a chance of mattering, I threw in everything but the kitchen sink to see if something, anything could produce a pulse....No pulse. None. {nb. whiny blog commenting does not qualify as a real response to real crime, anymore than the old lady gets her purse back by crying "Stop Thief"!}

"this is the biggest single stolen money story since Bernie Cornfield's IOS, with as many potential loose ends and damaging consequences as Nugan Hand. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

"If the small investor class does not go completely apeshit over what's already happened to them as of this week, they will assuredly be completely destroyed before that Mayan calendar thingy even has a chance to kick in."

And now, it's gone!  Like Elvis, the $ has left the building. Amerika, that land of "lost"{stolen?} opportunity....snooze n lose.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 14:00 | 1921529 Loose Caboose
Loose Caboose's picture

@Joyful.  You're right, of course.  Nothing will happen.  It was just a thought. The outrage of the masses is sufficiently deadened by TV valium and iPad worship.

Well I oughta......oh look!  Something shiney.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:44 | 1920978 waldocktrades
waldocktrades's picture

As a former Lind-Waldock representative whos experienced the Refco bankruptcy first hand as well as the transition to MF GLobal, I can say without question that this like dancing on the grave of our family's reputation. My latest blog, "Fixing MF Global's Mess" ties into our experience at the exchanges.

http://blog.commodityandderivativeadv.com/2011/11/23/fixing-mf-globals-m...

 

Furthermore, to keep people apprised of breaking MF Global news, we started a site, www.mfglobalnews.com

Good luck everyone. We are here to help in any way shape or form, possible.

Sincerely, Andy Waldock.

 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:41 | 1920969 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

"Is this an episode from The Twilight Zone?"

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:41 | 1920968 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

As Bill Black's most famously put it and titled his book after it -

"The best way to rob a bank is to own one!"

In other words the "insiders club" and you aint in it!

The inside of Wall Street is a putrifying, puss filled, fetid, vomitess, cess pit. And this stench is all over the politicians in Washington whos pockets are stuffed with this putrid mess.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:35 | 1920949 Georgesblog
Georgesblog's picture

This will continue long enough for a patsie to get caught with the hand in the cookie jar. Some lower management type or sales rep will leave a paper trail. The public will have their scapegoat. Where all that money went, is another issue. I hope it comes out better than AIG.

http://georgesblogforum.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/the-daily-climb-2/

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:31 | 1920928 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

Further looting is approved until we can determine how much money is missing.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 15:42 | 1922148 Elwood P Suggins
Elwood P Suggins's picture

The looting will continue until morale improves.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:45 | 1920989 sabra1
sabra1's picture

further looting is approved, until there is nothing left to loot, then and only then, we'll loot your gold and silver!

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:19 | 1920895 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

bill flekenstein says he has money tied up in this mf global business

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41TlJEzU2fs

 

he says its his own personal money and not any of his fund's money.  oh thanks bill. glad you clarified that since you have been known to do the same thing as mf global has done with other people's money in your own funds.......ha ha ha........

 

 

 

 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:03 | 1921308 repete
repete's picture

Fleck has only been right about one thing in the 12 years I've been following him.  That would be EVERYTHING.  He is one of the smartest guys in the business.  Care to clarify your charges Drifter?

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:17 | 1920883 Haole
Haole's picture

Burn, rape and pillage bitchez.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:08 | 1921087 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Obviously this was MFG customers fault just like the old rape defense. Being sophisticated investors, they should of known the system was corrupt and that investing money with them was just provoking MFG to steal their funds. Going into bankruptsy, anything left will get eaten up by the lawfirm at $5K/hr after you add in all jr partners and assistants. Yep, their own damn fault...oh, that goes for all you other sophisticated investors

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:18 | 1920879 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Rule of law, or laws of rule?

... with justice abortions in kangaroo-kourt for everyone "else."

 

Judge, I like your robe.

"Thanks, it's just for show."

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 13:52 | 1921507 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

Some day this wll be known as the age of the enlightenment of the naive.

http://www.marketskeptics.com/2011/11/the-article-newsweek-gutted-proof-of-fbi-corruption.html

 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:20 | 1920899 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

that judge allowed them to continue business after they filed a bankruptcy petition?  this man is on the take, no doubt about it........another bit of insanity......

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:31 | 1920932 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

Yep, this judge got a big old bribe that I could have never matched during my own Chapter 7 case.

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 17:49 | 1922953 rocker
rocker's picture

Don't forget the Supreme Court. The court has ruled that : 

 Our Constitution is now For and By the Corportions and Bankster Cartel of Wall Street and the Manipulated HFT Markets.

Main contributors: Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan.

Our Liberty and Freedoms no longer are allowed by the Patriot Act and passage of Homeland Security under Bush & Co.

Ratified by Bambi & Co.

Our Economy is now Worse than Japan Now.  First Declining Decade, check. Second Declining Decade, in progress.

Zhombie Banks will be Fed by Taxpayers throught the banking Cartel called the FED.

FED: a none Federal Agency ruled by Thieves and Gangsters. 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:31 | 1920913 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Judge Glenn justice -- just another financial derivative.

Heads the kourt wins, tails you lose.

 

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:14 | 1920877 mossme89
mossme89's picture

Why is it illegal for people to rob banks but legal for the banks to rob the people?

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:20 | 1920898 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

It's good for the economy.  Now shut up, will you?

 

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