The Market Ticker ® - Commentary on The Capital Markets
We're done folks.
CNBC is reporting that there are now clients running out of the markets entirely because they do not believe their customer funds are safe.
That's the end of it. The belief that there are more MF Globals has now taken hold. The thieves have pushed it too far and now we've got the start of a global liquidity run, and with good reason.
The authorities both in the regulatory side and on the prosecutorial side have refused to put a stop to the thievery and now the risk factors have turned into realized risk.
The market is done folks. You can be right but if you make your bet in the markets, are right, and then get screwed anyway when someone steals the money and nobody goes to jail there comes a time when people begin to understand that it can happen to them and will unless they depart the market. We're there folks.
Oh sure, there will be rallies and there will be selloffs. But there is no longer a market, there is no longer a thing to trade, and there is no longer a reason to believe that superior analysis will lead to profit or even safety.
This isn't just about speculators - it is also about farmers, shippers, airlines, manufacturing concerns, everyone in business who has a need to hedge.
More than four years ago I said that the government had to step in and demand that both off-balance sheet games be ended permanently and in all forms and that all derivatives had to be put on an exchange, without exception, and that every dollar of underwater position had to be backed by an actual dollar of capital in real money, held and known to be safe.
The regulators refused and now it appears that what was put up on a regulated exchange was effectively stolen.
Well folks, then none of your investment accounts -- not your IRA, 401k, not even your bank account -- is safe.
Diversification is a strategy but the risk remains. It is up to you to decide how much you're willing to risk losing to a crook. If the answer is "none" or you cannot reduce the at-risk portion of your assets to what you're willing to lose to fraud then you can no longer participate in the market at all, in any form, nor even do business with a bank.
That sucks, but it is what it is and if this meme spreads -- and it will until it's stopped -- we run the risk of a "sudden stop" economic event.
I hope you're ready for it -- I am to the best of my ability, and you ought to be.
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