November 17, 2011
Bloomberg reports today that CME, the world’s largest futures exchange, may face liability in the MF Global scam that has bilked customers out of nearly a billion dollars.
Back on October 30, it was reported that CME noticed a shortfall in MF Global’s segregated client funds, but did not immediately report it to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the CME Group’s regulator.
CME oversees its futures-broker members such as MF Global under its authority as a self-regulatory organization and is required to report irregularities immediately.
CME’s behavior is especially suspect after $600 million fell in a back hole when it was placed in an account with Wall Street giant JP Morgan following the collapse of MF Global.
As we noted today, it is very suspicious that weeks prior to MF Global’s fall billionaire investors like the Koch brothers had the miraculous foresight to withdraw all their money, prompting accusations that big players got a ‘heads up’ in advance of the firm’s collapse.
CME is now in the process of damage control. Earlier today, the organization issued a press release stating “that it followed CFTC requirements and CME Rules and procedures in reviewing MF Global’s segregated funds statements and coordinating that review with the CFTC” and characterized reports that it was negligent as “inaccuracies.”
Trends forecaster Gerald Celente, who lost gold futures at MF Global in the six figure range, has discovered a video of CME Executive Chairman, Terrence Duffy, holding a press conference last year in which he unequivocally states that no “customer has ever lost a penny as a result of a clearing member default that CME Group.”
Duffy admits that CME is the “guarantor of every transaction that happens in our markets [and] we have to guarantee the performance of each and every one of these contracts.” Obviously, this was not the case with MF Global and its clients.
The CME boss claims in the video that the futures and options markets provide “a place of shelter for the most damaging parts of the economic crisis” and “function flawlessly, providing liquidity, transparency and central counterparty clearing services that continue to work throughout the crisis,” a claim that turns out to be entirely fallacious, as Celente and others discovered after MF Global went belly up.
Duffy proudly admits that CME is “the guarantor of every transaction that happens in our markets” and guarantees “the performance of each and every one of these contracts which means facilitating the transfer of $800 trillion of risk. To do this, we hold more than $100 billion of collateral to support the transactions that are being done on our markets.”
However, as Gerald Celente notes in an email sent to Infowars.com, not “only have customers lost money, they’ve lost their futures positions. Secondly, and more important, CME did not honor its ‘guarantee’” to MF Global’s clients.
“This is big news that nobody has uncovered, and I’d like to break it with Alex,” Celente writes.
It is not certain at this point if CME’s role in the scandal will be highlighted. Authorities are attempting to track down MF Global client money lost in JP Morgan’s black hole and two “aggressive and high-profile federal prosecutors,” according to the Wall Street Journal, are using subpoenas to gather MF Global records.