Friday, November 18, 2011

Truth to Power

This is a blog that mostly deals with maritime and national security. However, in addition to sea piracy, there are people out there who hijack other people's money just as pirates hijack ships - and this hijacking has an impact on our national security in the economic sphere.

Here's a little look at one outraged former hedge broker who has a message. From BizzyBlog, "Thank You, Ann Barnhardt; We Need More People With Your Courage", which needs to be read in its entirety - but you should be aware of at least these words of Ann Barnhardt (her blog is here):
Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let’s not sugar-coat this or make this crime seem “complex” and “abstract” by drowning ourselves in six-dollar words and uber-technical jargon. Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. This is unfathomable. The risk exposure precedent that has been set is completely intolerable and has destroyed the entire industry paradigm. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.
Why Mr. Corzine is not under arrest is a mystery to me. Arrest him for suspicion of theft and then sort the mess out. As the woman in the cartoon above knows, when a ship sinks, someone has to be called to task.

It does remind me of an old newspaper column by, I think, Mike Royko ( I could be wrong), in which the writer received one of those "invest with me - it's sure thing" calls from some broker or another. As I remember, the conversation went something like this:
The writer offered the broker a deal, "If I invest my life's saving with you, I only ask one thing."

Broker: "What's that?"

Writer: "If you lose my money, I get to kill you."

Broker: "What?"

Writer: "Look, my whole working life and the future lives of my wife and children are wrapped up in that money. If it is gone, my working life as been wasted. Don't you think it fair that in exchange for giving you my life's work, you should offer up something in exchange for me investing in your 'sure thing" - and I think your life would be a fair exchange."

The broker hung up the phone.
I'll try to track down the original column, but I think I captured the essence if not the quality of writing.

The bigger point is, however, that these money managers - who make money coming and going - need to have something real at risk - instead of just a sullied reputation. While execution may be too harsh, breaking rocks in the hot sun might not be.

So, while I may not have chosen all the words Ms. Barnhardt used, her speaking "truth to power" and in going "John Galt" is worthy of note.


  1. Corzine will get away with it. Bringing a high profile democrat to justice doesn't fit well with the progressive narrative the media likes to advance.

    Lost on the OWS crowd is that Obama got the bulk of Wall Street campaign contributions. If you poll these people, you'll find most will vote for Odufus again.

  2. Anonymous8:52 PM

    I read somewhere that Corzine was known for doing the same thing in the past, but the markets were favorable so he didn't lose the customers funds.

  3. Milton9:41 AM

    I suppose that the liberals will now start barking for government interference with the free market. People should be free to choose to invest their money with crooks if they like.