MF Global embezzled, I’m sorry, misallocated funds from its depositors to cover bets it made that Greece would be bailed out by the ECB and German and French taxpayers. You’d think that the brokerage houses would have learned from 2008 and the NY Times editorial says that most of them have (I’ll believe that when I see it). But somehow, Jon Corzine’s brokerage was allowed to operate in a highly leveraged condition. The editorial board just can’t wrap its head around this:
Another reason that Mr. Corzine’s bets may have gone so wrong — and another echo of the financial crisis — is that American regulators did not rein in the firm. MF Global was highly leveraged, with liabilities at the end of June of $44.4 billion and equity of only $1.4 billion.
In a research note published on Tuesday, Steve Blitz, a senior economist with ITG Investment Research, pointed out that MF Global was one of the firms designated by the Federal Reserve as a primary dealer in United States Treasuries. After the havoc of high leverage in the financial crisis, how is it possible that the Fed allowed MF Global to operate with so much leverage? Are the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other relevant regulators fully monitoring the risks at other broker dealers?
Meanwhile, self-regulation is clearly not the answer. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-regulatory agency for brokerages, recently warned MF Global to shore up its capital to cushion against its increasingly risky positions. Whatever the firm did, if anything, clearly wasn’t enough.
Are the authorities monitoring the risks? Well, obviously, they weren’t monitoring this one. How can that be? What possible motivation could there be for averting one’s eyes from the MF Global’s collapse and unacceptable risk taking? I mean, did they own Jon a favor or something?
Jeez, it’s like some kind of allegorical morality play. “In this scene, Everyman is thwarted by the rich banker from Goldman-Sachs. Which cardinal sins does he represent? Anyone? Bueller?”
Let’s not forget some of the delegate accounts from Denver where the Hillary delegates who tried to vote for her on the first ballot were cornered, screamed at, harassed in hotel lobbies, and threatened that they would lose their jobs if they didn’t change their votes before the roll call. Here’s a few just to get a feel for how bad it was. (I talked to some personally when I was in Denver and these accounts sound pretty accurate):
ARKANSAS: “I was so angry at the sham of a roll call that I just wanted it to be over… ” “the last time I felt such unbearable group pressure was on a jury” ” Obama representatives yelling, you’ll be sorry” to “hold outs”. It was brutal.”
An alternate kept calling out that the state voted 70% for Hillary yet recorded its 47 delegate votes for Obama – “how could that be?”
CALIFORNIA: Chris Stampolis reports “I cast my signed vote for Hillary this morning. It will be added to the roll call count for California”. Except, we may never know how California voted…
Delegate Ray Panko reports that, “The California vote was about 230+ for Obama to 160+ for Clinton which did not reflect the state vote. The process was completely controlled by the DNC and the Obama campaign. They had us all vote at breakfast. They took our votes and tallied them. They did this to see how close the numbers would be between Obama and Clinton. The aim was to prevent the public from seeing the closeness of the race. California passed because the Obama/Dean,Nancy Church(DNC) told it to pass. It was a sham, show, farce, gimmick.
Overall, the process was reprehensible. Each delegation was told a different story. No one was told the actual rules of the DNC which say delegates are required, in good conscience, to vote on the first ballot a vote that reflects the will of the voters who sent them to the convention. Gloria Allred was prevented from speaking to the California Hillary delegates to inform them of this rule and that it applies regardless of whether or not the candidate releases us or not.
People understood that pledged delegates would do what they came to Denver to do – vote for one of the nominees to reflect the votes of those who sent them. We expected there to be respect for the 18 million votes and Hillary’s historic candidacy. We even thought that Super Delegates would be allowed to do their job – to select the electable Democrat. But that was not to be. Instead, the roll call turned into one chaotic caucus rigged to be sure that the final vote would never be known, without any sublety or reverance for the sanctity of the vote or individual obligations.”
A Super Delegate reported that “CA “passed” without ever recording its votes because the Hillary delegation stood firm and had the vote been given accurately, Hillary would have been temporarily ahead in the roll call”.
Clinton delegate and LA attorney Gloria Allred grabbed a napkin from the tables at the California delegation breakfast and wore it as a gag to protest not being allowed to speak at the breakfast. “I was not elected to be a potted plant,” Allred said through her gag, holding up DNC rules that say delegates must vote as they are elected. Californnia had 204 delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton, versus 166 for Obama.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE: “What thugs they are. They make it clear that they really do not need us and have no intention of doing anything about the unity they mouth.” “Our state voted strongly for Clinton but was threatened that funds would be withdrawn. The state cast its votes for Obama”.
NEW JERSEY: “We overheard delegates from our state which had voted strongly for HRC saying that they understood DNC funding for local races in their state would be dependent on a unanimous delegation vote”.
A delegate was told “he needn’t worry about his vote – the totals for New Jersey were irrelevant, that the delegation was going to announce as unanimous”.
NEW YORK: “My guess, with no inside information at all, is that no-one expected her votes to melt away or be driven away – that the BOs would be gracious enough to let her have her votes and she would then nominate by acclamation. That she did, but they had snarked away her delegates for maximum humiliation value”.
PENNSYLVANIA: An elderly weeping delegate who wanted to vote for Hillary was consoled by several fellow delegates who said they were all sent to Denver by their friends and neighbors to vote for Hillary but, “no-one seemed to care”.
OHIO: Flo Gurwin After watching the convention proceedings in Denver, I certainly do believe in HIS change–his ability to continually change his mind. I do not trust him. I think he’s a snake and the scumbags surrounding him leave little doubt in my mind that he is not the sort of person I want for my president.”
TEXAS: Frances Morey: “I was less than enthusiastic about the impeachment of Bush AND Cheney because Pelosi would have been next in line for the Oval Office”. She also noted that “going into this convention Obama was flat-lining in the polls. If there is a bounce to follow we know who is responsible–The Clintons”.
“This morning I got my credential and was directed to go to another room. There I showed my badge and my id and indicated my presidential preference on a sheet next to my name and signed my name. This is the state tally sheet. Texas delegation officials, Boyd Richie’s staff and volunteers, have total control of this. They will use this tally sheet to report the Texas delegation totals for todays roll call vote at the Pepsi center later today.”
Blanche Darley, wearing a button saying ObamaNation Scares the Hell out of Me, on the impact of HRC’s speech: “We love her, but it’s our vote …we don’t trust or like him…”
Nata Koerber: “Hillary has a life-time of service to the Democratic Party and has done everything required and then some to encourage support of Obama. The responsibility of uniting the Party lies squarely in the lap of Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, Obama’s preferred choice for VP.”
A HRC pledged delegate, realizing that it did not matter how his delegation voted, announced that “it is obvious that the Obama campaign has no regard for the Clinton delegates or voters, that they were making it clear that Obama does not feel he has to treat us with even minimal respect.”
The bankers bought the superdelegates, the state parties, and Obama himself. They own him. He does their bidding. And there was no one who symbolized that ownership more than Jon Corzine himself when he unanimously gave away the entire state of New Jersey’s delegates to Obama who lost the state by 10 points. New York went right after we did and that put an end to the most rigged primary season and roll call vote in Democratic party history.
It’s no mystery why the Obama administration charged with oversight and regulation turned a blind eye to what Corzine’s fund was doing. That’s the way the system was set up to work.