Friday, November 18, 2011

Feds: All Commodity Traders To Be Audited

November 11, 2011 02:00 PM

By Susie Madrak           Crooks & Liars

Get out the popcorn! You know how they got Al Capone on tax evasion? Maybe we're finally going to see a some Wall Street bankers go to jail for something, even if it's not for crashing the economy. But if we're going to audit futures trading, it could break the backs of food and oil speculators who are driving up the cost of food worldwide:

Federal regulators have ordered an audit of every American futures trading firm to verify that customer money is protected, a move that comes after roughly $600 million in client funds were discovered to be missing from MF Global, the bankrupt brokerage firm once run by Jon S. Corzine.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal regulator searching for the missing money at MF Global, will audit many of the nation’s largest futures commission merchants, according to a person briefed on the decision. Exchanges like the CME Group will examine smaller firms to ensure they are keeping customer money separate from company money, a fundamental rule on Wall Street.

The futures commission also announced on Thursday that it had formally opened an investigation into MF Global, a largely symbolic move that indicated the seriousness of the case. The agency has already issued subpoenas to MF Global and its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, but the commission had to vote before announcing a full-scale investigation.

“The commission has determined it is in the public interest to confirm the existence of this particular investigation,” the agency said in a statement.

Now, I happen to think they'd be investigating MF Global anyway, but the fact that they're going to audit all the futures traders has to be sending a tremor down Wall Street and I'm going to give some credit to the Occupy movement. Stay tuned!