"The commercial world is very frequently put into confusion by the bankruptcy of merchants, that assumed the splendour of wealth only to obtain the privilege of trading with the stock of other men, and of contracting debts which nothing but lucky casualties could enable them to pay; till after having supported their appearance a while by tumultuary magnificence of boundless traffic, they sink at once, and drag down into poverty those whom their equipages had induced to trust them."The regulators are clueless and conflicted, the self-regulators are careless and complicit, the industry is enmeshed in cronyism, and fraud is broadly tolerated as way of doing business, a droit du seigneur of the elite over customer funds and assets, pricing and all other forms of news and information. It has every character of an advanced form of control fraud.
Samuel Johnson: The Rambler, January 7, 1752
And as for the politicians, one might conclude as the Parliament had done with Mr. Bob Diamond, that they are either incompetent or indirectly complicit as well, in the manner of a credibility trap. It seems hard to explain it any other way.
The culture of privilege and corruption through the mispricing of risk and outright fraud in the Anglo-American financial system is pervasive, stuffed with phony paper. No outrage seems too extreme, too great, and therefore nothing can be said to be safe.
Exclusive: Iowa futures broker forged bank records for years - source
By Ann Saphir
Jul 10, 2012 7:23pm EDT
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Russell Wasendorf Sr., the sole owner and chairman of stricken futures broker Peregrine Financial Group, Inc., intercepted and forged bank documents for more than two years to cover up hundreds of millions of dollars in missing money, a person close to the situation told Reuters.
The National Futures Association on Monday froze the funds of the Iowa-based brokerage, which does business as PFGBest, after discovering an estimated $220 million shortfall in PFGBest's customer accounts. The NFA had said in an affidavit that Wasendorf "may have falsified bank records."
Wasendorf, 64, is reported to be in a coma after a suicide attempt Monday morning, according to a complaint filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Tuesday that accuses Wasendorf and Peregrine of fraud.
The source offered new details on how Wasendorf allegedly carried out the deceit, which involved the forging of confidential documents that the NFA uses to verify a broker's cash balance with its depository institution.
Wasendorf intercepted these documents after they were mailed by the NFA, the broker's first-line regulator, to U.S. Bank, where PFGBest had said it had well over $200 million on deposit, the person said. The NFA has said the account actually held just $5 million this week.
Wasendorf had set up a post office box in Cedar Falls, Iowa, according to a second person involved in the matter. It was to that post office box that NFA sent the documents, which were addressed to the bank.
The post office box was neither in Wasendorf's name nor registered to the bank, the second person said. (That is, it was a 'blind PO box, something that would not be acceptable to even eBay. - Jesse)
Wasendorf then forged signatures and fabricated bank balances on the documents and simply mailed them back to the Chicago-based NFA, the person said.
Calls to spokespeople for PFGBest and NFA were not returned. A woman who answered the phone at the home of Wasendorf declined to comment...
Read the rest here.