Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who will watch the watchdogs? (Part 1)

This is a routine story from the Yahoo Finance website about apparent failure of U.S. government regulatory agencies to police the rogue actions of Jon Corzine and MF Global, a financial derivatives broker. Corzine and company declared bankruptcy, and customer funds are reported "missing."
The full story
Why isn't there more public outrage about this?

From the Reuters story by Christopher Doering and Sarah Lynch (with my emphasis):

"Senators plan to press regulators on Thursday on whether they were asleep at the switch…"

Note: A Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman, Gary Gensler, has recused himself from the agency's investigation because he and Corzine worked together at Goldman Sachs in the 1990s…… many former financial executives are now working at the regulatory commission?

"Investigators have been scouring the company's books, described as messy and unorganized, for the fund shortfall that has been estimated as much as $1.2 billion by the liquidating trustee."

"MF Global had nearly a half dozen regulators, including the CFTC, the SEC, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, policing various parts of the firm. However, there was no one clear watchdog responsible for the whole company."

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

When was the last time you heard a regulator say: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" ?

Background on MF Global, per Wikipedia:
MF Global website:

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