I’M CALLING FOR A GENERAL FINANCIAL MARKET STRIKE
BY ANN BARNHARDT
I have received a few emails asking if I was still content with my decision to shut down my brokerage. Not only am I content, but after seeing the news that broke over the weekend, I am of the considered opinion that the entire financial blogging community should formally call for a general financial market strike. And I’m not kidding. A couple of things have happened regarding the MF Global mess that I don’t think got the attention they should have because they broke over the weekend. So let me fill you all in.
First, all notions of personal property rights were essentially destroyed when the MF Global “trustee” began seizing customers’ gold and silver bullion held in storage if that bullion was purchased through contracts brokered by MF Global. In case you’re not following, let me restate. MF Global customers who traded in precious metals and actually took delivery and OWNED bullion, as in outright, free and clear OWNERSHIP, complete with a warehouse receipt (aka title) with SERIAL NUMBERS designating exactly which physical bars they OWNED, and were PAYING RENT to STORE their own property in a “secure” VAULT, complete with statements indicating that these storage fees were paid in full, are having THEIR PROPERTY THAT THEY OWN AND ARE PAYING RENT TO STORE CONFISCATED by the MF Global trustee in order to feed the gaping maw that is the MF Global “estate”.
This would be EXACTLY like if you rented a little storage space at one of the thousands of storage facilities that dot this nation, and stored a car there. I used to do exactly this when I had multiple cars. Imagine the owner of the storage facility went bankrupt. Now imagine that a “trustee” SEIZED YOUR CAR, sold it, and used YOUR PROPERTY to feed the storage franchise owner’s BK. Nevermind that you had an explicit RENTAL AGREEMENT and that you had receipts proving that you were paying monthly rent on said storage space, and that you could produce clear title to the car showing that you owned it, and that the VIN numbers matched.
Do you understand what is happening now? This is outright confiscation of personal property. After having their money stolen out of their accounts and being locked out of their accounts, unable to trade or even liquidate WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, these people are now having their PERSONAL PHYSICAL PROPERTY stolen and redistributed to the MF Global estate, in order to feed Corzine’s gambling debts – MADE ILLEGALLY WITH FUNDS STOLEN OUT OF THE CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS – to repay counterparties with J.P. Morgan at the fore.