“The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.”
— H. L. Mencken
Down here in Nicaragua, it is difficult to complain. Almost impossible to gripe. And if you find yourself doing either one, you shouldn’t be here in the first place. This idyllic locale is kind of an organic, and highly concentrated, blood-pressure medication (perhaps blended with just a smidge of Lexapro).
But a few thousand miles to the north, where Wall Streeters cheat and politicians protect them, legitimate complaints and gripes are easy to come by. There are plenty of obscene abuses of power and miscarriages of justice. You’d have to be comatose — or in Nicaragua — to miss them.
Crony capitalism, and the injustices that flow from it, have become such a dominant force in American society that a return to “normal” feels like a low-probability bet. Epitomizing the injustices that have become all-too-normal in modern America, The New York Times reported yesterday that federal authorities are unlikely to bring any criminal charges whatsoever against any of the former executives of the bankrupt M.F. Global, despite the fact that $1.6 billion of clients’ funds remains “missing.”
This latest travesty of justice would seem to confirm what we observed in this column just two days ago:
Wow!…It’s getting harder to hang a felony charge on a past or present Goldman exec than it is to hang panties on a porn star. The darn things just keep sliding off…
Remember, the Justice Department is one of the same government agencies that can’t bring itself to pose a single embarrassing question to Jon Corzine, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former New Jersey Senator, former CEO of the fraudulently destroyed M.F. Global and perennial scumbag.
In particular, the Justice Department can’t bring itself to ask Corzine what happened to the $1.6 billion of customer funds that he (allegedly) “disappeared” while overseeing M.F. Global.
Lamentably, your editor was not exaggerating. Despite a 10-month long investigation into the collapse of M.F. Global, the Times reports that federal investigators have not yet spoken to Jon Corzine!
Says the Times:
“[F]ederal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.”
How civilized! Federal authorities are extending an “invitation” to Mr. Corzine that they hope — breathlessly, we would imagine — he will accept.
Something ain’t right here, folks. When $1.6 billion disappears, someone took it. Maybe Corzine was not the guy, but someone took it…and that someone was not “lax and porous risk controls.”
In yesterday’s edition of Capital Account, Barry Ritholtz, addressee the baffling indictment-lite investigation of M.F. Global…as only Barry Ritholtz can. Check out this 3-minute clip from Barry’s half-hour segment:
Barry blames injustices like the M.F. Global non-indictments on the fact that “politicians are in bed with the Banksters.” And so it would appear. This dangerous liaison has been going on for so long that there would seem to be no hope in sight.
Eric Fryfor The Daily Reckoning
Eric J. Fry, Agora Financial's Editorial Director, has been a specialist in international equities for nearly two decades. He was a professional portfolio manager for more than 10 years, specializing in international investment strategies and short-selling. Following his successes in professional money management, Mr. Fry joined the Wall Street-based publishing operations of James Grant, editor of the prestigious Grant's Interest Rate Observer. Working alongside Grant, Mr. Fry produced Grant's International and Apogee Research, institutional research products dedicated to international investment opportunities and short selling.
Mr. Fry subsequently joined Agora Inc., as Editorial Director. In this role, Mr. Fry supervises the editorial and research processes of numerous investment letters and services. Mr. Fry also publishes investment insights and commentary under his own byline as Editor of The Daily Reckoning. Mr. Fry authored the first comprehensive guide to investing internationally with American Depository Receipts. His views and investment insights have appeared in numerous publications including Time, Barron's, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Business Week, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Money.
Great article! But the moral rot doesn’t stop at finance. You have Black Panthers urging followers to kill whites and the esteemed US Justice Dept headed by a black man (Eric Holder) does nothing. America is dissolving morally and soon there will be fighting on the streets.
Are there any public companies that make guillotines?
No body took it mate. MF global bought loads of crap investmets ( including European debt) for xyz dollars using customers funds. By the time of filing bankruptcy that investment has fallen in value to xyz minus 1.6 billion dollars. So you see nobody actually stole it .It just deflated into thin air.
And yes there was a crime commited – of using customers funds to make bets. Heads I win , tails you pay.
Federal investigators have no difficulty in finding what happened to the 1.6billion dollars. They cannot make it public as it will expose the deep nexusus between politicians and bankers
Well first of all your presuming that just because what goldman did was unethical and immoral it was illegal.
as for the MF Global case that gets into more complicated areas. Corzine was illegally investing money into projects that were related to government policies (in bailing out bad debt of european governments). I think John Corzine may have gotten asked by one of his friends in the whitehouse to steal to help them. Or he was trading on insider info and it went bad
HOW LAWMAKERS TREAT AMERICANS.
1. When a bank makes a loan.
TAKE A $100,000 HOME
The bank creats money out of thin air.
They call it $80,000 credit.
The bank has nothing invested.
But has $20,000 DOWNPAYMENT (FREE MONEY).
2. NOW THE HOMEOWNER,
INVEST his Life Savings as a DOWNPAYMENT.
Each month makes Interest Payments.
Almost nothing goes to the Princepal
He pays in 10 years $80,000 $ loses Job
Foreclosure sets in, BANK REPO;S HOME
END OF STORY?? NO…
BANK GETS FREE HOME.????
NOT END OF STORY? NO?? OH NO..
POOR DUMB BANKER GETS BAIL OUT & ?????
WE GET TAXED TO PAY BANK MORE MONEY.
NO BANKER GOES TO JAIL. END?? NO.
WE LOSE BILL OF RIGHTS & WORK LIKE SLAVE.
BANKER IS RICH. (American Justice)
THE END OF FREEDOM
YOUR FRIEND: HOMELESS
Friend homeless you forgot the story
Man buys 100k house, pays 20k for down payment and has a loan where he doesn’t pay down principle.
House goes back down in value to 65K dollars but friend homeless has to pay as if it was 100K
banker otherwise would lose 35k on homeless’s house to the investors they sold it to (other banks and pension funds)
and those other banks ran up some pretty good sales stories to their investors
they inflated money to supply people who inflated money who supplied people who inflated money.
they believed money had the value they said it
they believe you didn’t need to build wealth to build wealth
“Crony capitalism, and the injustices that flow from it, have become such a dominant force in American society that a return to ‘normal’ feels like a low-probability bet.”
what are you talking about? crony capitalism IS the return to normal!
you want something better than that? well, you can’t buy it. you have to earn it. you have to work for it. you yourself, personally.
When you've got a room full of 200 oil insiders scratching their heads at current high prices, something's gotta give.
For most investors, it’s weird to think of stocks as their go-to investing option.
The petropoly has bills to pay and setting the price of oil was a simple way to balance their budgets.
Investors don’t seem to care that what's propping up their investments is what will ultimately destroy them: government monetary policy.
For the next decade the energy revolution will be likely confined to the US, displaying the robustness of American entrepreneurship.
Why the Sage of Baltimore’s commentary persists through America’s changing times.
After attending Platt’s oil conference in London I want to relay two important themes you need to know.