Well, folks, we had a nice firm opening this morning after yesterday’s Greek-inspired selloff, and it feels like at least some of the fear may be behind us. The bounce today is important—it will tell us whether we’ve weathered the storm. Don’t read too much into it unless it continues into the afternoon, because this early rally will be sold by the people who missed the selling the last couple of days. But if we do find ourselves around that 11,750-18,000 level in the Dow later in the session, that could set the stage for an interesting battle between the bulls and the bears. You know which side I’m on.
We’ve also got a two-day Fed meeting that comes to an end today, and we’ll get the minutes from that this afternoon as well. I don’t expect an announcement of formal action, but I do expect to see some hints in the wording of something that would target mortgage-backed securities. That’s the same target area as QE1, and it could be a shot in the arm for the markets. Keep an eye on how all this is digested.
As you know I’ve been following this MF Global story very closely, and the more I read the more upset I get. MF Global was a big institution with a lot of positions—futures, options, stocks, ETFs—and they were all overleveraged by one gigantic egomaniac named Jon Corzine, Mr. Champagne Socialist, the former co-chair of Goldman Sachs and former New Jersey governor. This is a guy who preached more regulation at every level, and now he has MF Global on the brink of disaster. Of course, we don’t know for sure yet if he comingled funds from those customer-segregated accounts, but if he did, he should be wearing an orange jumpsuit for the rest of his life.
What’s worse is that a lot of the money he was playing with wasn’t even firm money: it belonged to his employees. MF Global had a wonderful crew of brokers, and as it turns out, these people were basically forced into buying company stock with their commission dollars. Sounds very Enronesque, doesn’t it? These are innocent, hard-working people whose careers and everything else could vanish because of one man. How could someone who is supposedly so smart be so dumb?
If any of you have an account over at MF Global that has been frozen, it’s important to understand that because they entered into a bankruptcy, you’re going to need a bankruptcy attorney to free that money up. It’s not something that should take a long time—a few days, maybe. You can also find a reputable independent broker and open up an account with them. That way, you’ll have a couple sets of legal teams trying to extract your money. I’m a former board member at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and I know this world very well—if you don’t know what to do, please email me. I can direct traffic and help you figure out what you need to do to get your hard-earned money back.
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