Someone Is Going To Jail For This: MF Global Caught Stealing Hundreds Of Millions From Customers?

Tyler Durden's picture

Say you are the head back office guy at MF Global, it is the close of trading on Thursday, the firm has already completely drawn down on its revolver, and all the resulting cash in addition to all the firm's cash at your disposal in affiliated bank accounts, up to and including petty cash, has been used to satisfy margin demands due to declining collateral value, yet the collateral calls just won't stop, and impatient voices on the other side of the phone line demand you transfer even more cash over immediately or else risk default proceedings commenced against you within minutes. What do you do? Do you go ahead and tell your superior that the firm is broke even though the co-opted media is trumpeting every 5 minutes that "MF Global is fine", knowing full well you will be immediately fired for being the bearer of bad news, or do you assume that courtesy of your uber-boss being the former head of the Vampire Squid, and thanks to infinite moral hazard which after Lehman made sure nobody would ever fail ever again, that there is simply no way that you will be left without some miraculous rescue, if only you can last one more day, and as a result proceed to "commingle" some client funds with the firm's cash. It turns out that at MF Global you do the latter... over and over... until you have literally stolen hundreds of millions from the firm's client accounts in hopes that the miracle rescue will come on Friday... then over the weekend... and then you realize no miracle is coming, partly because your actions have been exposed, partly because miracles only exist in fairy tales. The next thing you know, your firm is bankrupt and hundreds of clients are about to learn that all their money is gone. Poof. This is not a fictional tale. This is precisely what very likely happened at MF Global in the past 72 hours. And someone has to go to jail. That someone, if indeed this criminal act is proven to have taken place, should be none other than Jon Corzine himself.

The sad truth of just how low Wall Street has fallen comes to us courtesy of the New York Times:

Federal regulators have discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money have gone missing from MF Global in recent days, prompting an investigation into the company’s operations as it filed for bankruptcy on Monday, according to several people briefed on the matter.


The revelation of the missing money scuttled an 11th hour deal for MF Global to sell a major part of itself to a rival brokerage firm. MF Global, the powerhouse commodities brokerage run by Jon S. Corzine, had staked its survival on completing the deal.

As for the details:

What began as nearly $1 billion missing had dropped to less than $700 million by late Monday. It is unclear where the money went, and some money is expected to trickle in over the coming days as the firm sorts through the bankruptcy process, the people said.


But regulators are examining whether MF Global diverted some customer money to support its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse. If that was the case, it could violate a fundamental tenet of Wall Street regulation: Customers’ money must be kept separate from company money.

And just like in the Lehman collapse where tens if not hundreds of international prime brokerage hedge fund clients, due to no fault of their own, found themselves insolvent after their cash ended up being caught at the London Lehman office (the details of how that money was illegally transferred from London to the US is a different topic entirely) and never to be seen again except to satisfy general unsecured claims, so thousands of MF clients are about to realize that money they thought they had, even if completely unencumbered with other assets, read pure cash, read money not at risk, is now gone forever, and they will have to wait years until the bankruptcy process determines if the claim deserves priority status to the unsecured bondholders. Best case: assume a 70% haircut on the money, if it is every to be seen again at all.

So who can be sued? Who can be blamed for this malicious and purposeful criminal act? Why everyone from the back office clerk presented in the thought experiment above, all the way up to the man at the very top, Jon himself, who, like in every other act of Wall Street impropriety will plead stupidity and deny he ever knew of this crime. Unfortunately, our criminal regulators, who will be just as complicit in clearing him of all wrongdoing, will aid and abet this latest destruction of faith in US capitalism.

What happens next? Why customers at all other brokerages, all other exchanges, afraid that their money will suffer the same fate as MF, even if they transact with perfect solvent clearers and agents, will proceed to pull their money, as they know they have nobody to trust but their own prudent and forward looking actions. Which in turn will start the kind of liquidity drain that killed not only Lehman, but froze money markets, and with that brought the complete capital markets to a standstill, only to be thawed after the Fed pledged multiples of the US GDP to rescue Wall Street in October of 2008.

And that, dear reader, is called unintended consequences, and how the bankruptcy of a small exchange can avalanche into a crippling Ice Nine of what is left of capital markets all over again, courtesy of crony capitalism, rampant criminality and a regulator and enforcement body that is more fascinated with midget porn than any regulating or enforcing of the very firms it hopes to get an assistant general counsel job from in a few short years.

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tarsubil's picture

You have got to be kidding me.

Wannabee's picture

Dude...I've never junked you.

WonderDawg's picture

Ha, nice. No offense intended, unless of course, you're a regulator hoping to be a GS employee.

Wannabee's picture

GS, not a chance. No blue blood in my ancestry.

CompassionateFascist's picture

"Blue blood"? WTF are you talking? The days when WASPS ran the Street are long gone. Try: Khazar blood. As in Corzine. And 80% of the rest. And that's precisely why and how Finance Capitalism replaced Free Market Capitalism.

MaxFrost's picture

Yup, there's lots of Jews in finance, no doubt about it. But Corzine is Dutch and Christian, you anti-Semitic piece of shit.

I did it by Occident's picture

agree, no need to single out ethnic proclivities in choices of employment.  It's like saying the Greeks have a lock on the diners, or the Koreans have a monopoly on drycleaning, or Indians have cornered the Dunkin Donuts.  Sure, there are high numbers of those folks in those areas, but it has to do with networks and families.  Basically, if all the people in your family are in finance or 'professional' careers, then which path are you more likely to take, becoming a plumber or an accountant? 

CompassionateFascist's picture

Actually, he's a Sephardic Jew who pretends to Christianity. Corzine's true "religion": paper money and its derivatives.

Ahmeexnal's picture

OK, we all get it. You are an idiot.

I did it by Occident's picture

Nah, the WASPs still run the world, they just like other "conspiracies" to place the spotlight on other ethnicities.  They are getting sloppy though, letting continental ideas (i.e. collectivist) gain footholds in anglophone societies.  tsk, tsk, the Queen would not be pleased.

Raging Debate's picture

I thought WASP's were roughly $400b in funds? Bigger revenue than entire nation sure but in charge?

ricocyb13's picture

no jewish blood? no GS or FED career for you.

Blano's picture

But why is the Squid letting one of their own go under?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The Squid isn't letting it happen, the Squid is making it happen. Sometimes it is necessary, when the hounds are getting too close, to drag a red herring across your trail to throw them off the scent. The Squid has a sacrificial pool for just such an occasion; a lottery was held, and Corzine drew the short straw.


tickhound's picture

And in the ensuing panic, even the wall street law firms scramble like little ants to replace money in client escrow accounts.  Everyone answers to the squid.

hayleecomet's picture

This is exactly what I'm thinking.  What't the plan here? It's not exactly like this is the only ponzi going on.  It's a small part in a bigger scam and I am so sick and tired of the games.  This is a primary FUCKING dealer and you know damned well Ben and company are part of this.  When is this shit going to end.

Hi Ho Silver's picture

You would think that considering the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Yet, what we see play out before our very eyes is actually a septic swirl.

It can take turds a surprising amount of time to reach the event horizon.

OldPhart's picture

Particularly for the floaters.  Some always seem to escape the drain.

Yamaha's picture

Now they don't have access to the Fed window?  Great job by the Fed as usual and I can't wait to hear CNBS talk about how they didn't know anything and they are creditors...............That might be a great place to sue for the other 70%.  A little failure to report facts - Tyler - what do you say we get a court order for their emails?  They would be great to read - they are careless with simple reporting and you can bet they were putting some lipstick on that pig!

myshadow's picture

Absolutely, lloyd and timmeh are colluding to make sure corzino is under the bus. My hope is corzino will start outing some squid borne acolytes.

Last week, tim admonished an interviewer about the lack of bankster perp walks, saying there were definitely more to come and raj didn't count. 

This will take the glare of the shiney beast for the sheeple to 'lookie here' and the squid will slither under the door to safety.

So they think.

If the slightest thing occurs that requires 'some government/taxpayed intervention' all bets are off.

This is yet another reason barry 0 has kept OWS at the end of a foggy 10 foot pole.

Breaker's picture

"This will take the glare of the shiney beast for the sheeple to 'lookie here' and the squid will slither under the door to safety."

As will the congresses, presidents, fed, and administrative agencies whose lust for power and the government they have created over the past 110 years who are the heart of all the current problems.

Breaker's picture

"This will take the glare of the shiney beast for the sheeple to 'lookie here' and the squid will slither under the door to safety."

As will the congresses, presidents, fed, and administrative agencies whose lust for power and the government they have created over the past 110 years who are the heart of all the current problems.

Blano's picture

Damn, you people think much more deviously than I do.

I needs to start catching up.

Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

I wouldn't even go there.  Just more heads I win, tails you lose, moral hazard, tragedy of the commons, business as usual, bullshit.

TruthInSunshine's picture


The Squid isn't letting it happen, the Squid is making it happen. Sometimes it is necessary, when the hounds are getting too close, to drag a red herring across your trail to throw them off the scent. The Squid has a sacrificial pool for just such an occasion; a lottery was held, and Corzine drew the short straw.


I obviously can't place odds on whether this is likely true or not, but the sad fact of the matter is that there's no doubt in my mind that Goldman engages in schemes this dirty and even far worse, using a wide variety of tactics and a network of the bought-and-paid for politicians and regulators that it controls.

So, your claims are entirely feasible given deep capture and the state of the nation - which is highly nepotistic, kleptocratic, corrupt, and now has an extraordinary level of revolving door-ism between politicians, regulators and the one industry, above all others, which is both counter-productive and in charge of our national policies: the financial parasite industry (an industry of shape shifters and wealth shifters, not wealth creators).

DormRoom's picture

All of whom are ex-Goldman employees doing God's work.


There fixed it for you /s

i-dog's picture

There's no need for the sarc tag ... they are doing God's work ... for the Vatican!  (Lloyd knew exactly what he was talking about).

Chairman of Goldman Sachs International = Peter Sutherland: Jesuit, Director-General of WTO, former chairman of BP, steering committee member of Bilderberg Group, chairman of Trilateral Commission, former director of RBS (until UK govt takeover), Consultor of the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (a financial adviser to the Vatican),....

Former partner-in-charge of global finance and head of investment banking services = Geoffrey T. Boisi: Knight of Malta, financial advisor to the Pope, former vice-chairman of JPMorgan Chase, former CEO of JPMorgan (and engineered merger with Knight of Malta David Rockefeller's Chase), honored by John Paul II as a Steward of St. Peter,....

Lord Blankenfiend is just a front-man hofjuden.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Good work i-dog.

Their plans will flounder.  Not many people know the vatican is the head of the beast. But the few who do and have already commited to stopping them are more than enough.

With help from the Elohim the cleptocratic cult of the vatican and it's slave euroglobal state will be forever destroyed.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



And where exactly has this "help from the Elohim" been the last 2,000 years while this "head of the beast" has steadily grown larger and more powerful?

It hasn't come in 2,000 years, and it's going to come now?

Dream on.

nohweh's picture

nice one i-dog. About time Mr Sutherland was fingered.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Hahahhhh i-dog. Nailed it. 

But this is often too much conspiracy for most.

I'd like to read what you read.


Salvage's picture

So Roberto Calvi hanging from Blackfriars Bridge didn't redeem the Holy See? Damn. And he was saying he was doing God's work too



CharlieSDT's picture

Gee, if some rich folks lost a bunch of their money with MF, other rich folks may be inclined to start taking their cash out of their brokerage accounts at the other big banks/funds.  I'm sure that all those organizations will have all the money needed to fulfill all those redemtions.  No sweat, I'm sure MF is an exception.  Back to Monday Night Football.



jekyll island's picture

Most of the regulators want to work for Goldman

fourchan's picture

busness as usual, with with typical results.

monoloco's picture

Or future Goldman employees.

monkeyboy's picture

So no one's going to jail, well no one that "should be" going to jail.

They might get a scapegoat or three.

But not the ones that committed the crimes.


Uber Vandal's picture

It would appear that yes, Goldman Sachs does indeed run the world.

sunnydays's picture

All kinds of research of who MF Global was at link.  They advised the G20 and invested the Chinese government's money.  They were ranked as number one on many trading exchanges.

ToNYC's picture


One thoughtful start would be adopting the 28th Amendment which does nothing more than re-iterate all the Founding Fathers' writing that Corporations are not people, and thus no right of speech  but what their corporate charter specifies.

A second would be PURGE all forner employees of the Gold men Sackers from any role whatever in any Federal, State, or Local government including the role of dog catcher.


Ahmeexnal's picture

A democRAT? Surely it's all false accusations.

It's Bush's fault!


penisouraus erecti's picture

well, he must be a closet republican since everyone that is smart, connected, and not a creationist?,  knows a democrat wouldn't be capable of this. We all know republicans are clearly capable, but not a democrat. Most fail to see that all the walking rectum douche bags we elect, regardless of party, are out for themselves. Some just do a better job of acting and saying the right shit so the sheeple will feel good about getting raped by them, doesn't matter if they do it or if it makes sense.

disabledvet's picture

"whitey don't lie" penisouraus. throw on the kleig-lights and the Republican's cryin' truth like it's goin' out of style.

DavidPierre's picture


MF Global? France? ...OUNCES!

The news this morning is that MF global has been suspended as 1 of the 22 primary dealers in Treasury securities by The NY Fed. CME group has limited them to "liquidation only", this is a death sentence.

Are they another Lehman Brothers? How big and what type of counterparty risk do they have? Who do they have it with? Should they fail, what sort of "ring fence" is or can be set up around them. Lots of questions and I guess we will find out the answers in due (short?) time.

Across the pond, it looks like Portugal and Spain have been leapfrogged by the speculators spotlight and Italy has now come into the crosshairs. Their yields on sovereign debt paper have jumped to new highs and thus new lows on their bonds (their stock market is down 3.5%). Italian CDS rates have blown out but we all know this is a mugs game because as we have seen, the 50% haircut in Greek bonds is not a "default event". The "cashier's window" is permanently closed so why even enter this casino? Italy is multiple times the size of Greece and truly a blasting cap for the the nuclear banking system. Why? Because the French banks have such huge exposure there! I don't believe we even need to see Italy get as far down fantasy lane as Greece before the French banking system and thus the ENTIRE Western banking system begins to cascade.

As in WWI,  France is the "maginot line" that if crossed is the end. The French banks, (sovereign French paper) CANNOT become the primary target of speculators. Once the speculative sights are set on Paris "too big to save" will become the operative words. In reality it is now only a matter of time! ...And market reactions to MF Golbal and Italy? Dollar up...Gold down. Again, how can no one see "it" and do the math and logic? Actually I am sure they are, Mother Nature is being masked by "unofficial, official trading". The math and logic? Where it all ends? All you need to do is follow the dominoes. Logically the "last domino" is where the Ponzi scheme all began, The United States.

The cascading collapse will occur very rapidly and terminate in a global financial holiday. Today's computerization will make the "end" happen overnite.

Of course the Dollar is now (as always) catching bids in "safe haven fashion". How stupid!

The U.S. is now at 100% debt to GDP (with on books obligations), Lord knows what it is when all obligations are included, 6, 7, 8, to one or more? The U.S. is in no way a safe haven, Gold and Gold alone is.

Gold IS money and IS/WILL BE liquid when the roof comes down.

Gold will be the "last man standing" and will attract so much demand that sellers will evaporate afraid that they are selling something real for something that is worth nothing. The move so far from $250 to the current level is absolutely NOTHING compared to where it will be when untold $ Trillions upon $ Trillions flee paper into REAL SAFETY!

We are truly cursed and blessed at the same time, we must live through what is mathematically coming. We will suffer the consequences yet be able to be witness to what surely will be remembered in history books as we remember the Roman Empire today.

Fortunes will be lost and gained. These fortunes depend entirely upon how you are positioned into the "holiday".

Yes, you can try to trade and gain Dollars in the short run, or you can be fully invested in precious metal investments and come out "the other end" of the holiday with maximum OUNCES! Ounces will be what are counted, not Dollars, Euros, Yen or Pounds.

Ounces will be liquid,... acres, barrels, bushels etc. will be less liquid. No matter what occurs "from here to there", DO NOT get scared out of your positions, THIS is exactly what "they" are trying to do. DO NOT TRADE! Maximum "ounces" in hand and in the ground are what will matter!

Be smart and do not let volatility make you re enter the casino, you have already been to and paid at the cashiers window...DON'T go back inside!

Careless Whisper's picture

@ DavidPeter


DO NOT get scared out of your positions

bwahahaha. Dewd we're in the fight club here. You don't have to worry about any of us getting scared out of our gold. First of all it's paid for. It's owned outright. It's kept in a safe place... and it's not for sale! You are thinking about those pussy hedge fund managers from Westport or something. They might get scared out of their gold paper positions, but they're assholes. Who cares. They sell, price drops, we buy more.


DavidPierre's picture

Mr. Whisper:

You are Careless... Dewd!

Say whatever ... but make sure you spell the name right!