Europe, Corzine and Housing

A lot of economic news is being eclipsed by the media’s obsession with Republican presidential polls. It seems they want to inform us hourly of any change therein and still not one vote has been cast.

They’re overlooking the train wreck that is Europe, for one. Even though our attention has drifted away from it, there is still no program to reform Europe’s welfare state, retirement and pension problems. The Euro is dropping and headed for a crash or collapse and their governments are shaky.

Here, we had bombshell testimony yesterday by CME Executive Chairman Terry Duffy. He was appearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee to discuss MF Global. The lost billion belonged to mostly farmers and ranchers, hence that committee. As ZeroHedge explains, “Duffy (said) under oath that an MF Global employee, a woman, advised the CME that Jon Corzine had been aware of a $175 million loan made to European affiliates just days prior to the bankruptcy; a loan which effectively was that of comingled accounts, and more importantly, a refutation of previous statements under oath by the man who as ‘financial advisor’ to none other than the vice president of the United States who said he did not know about this until late on Sunday. This was not in his prepared testimony. What was is that ‘transfers of customer funds for the benefit of the firm constitute serious violations of our rules and of the Commodity Exchange Act.’

“And now we know that according to the chairman of the CME, the MF Global head lied about the timing of the disclosure. And where it gets worse, is that MF Global was well aware of this; it told the CME too it knew about the segregated account money! Because being the firm of Obama’s handler apparently makes you equivalent with the law.”

So where is the money? Conspiracy theorists have ideas on that, too. As Tyler Durden notes, “MF Global’s bankruptcy, by dint of being a derivatives broker and the resulting massive loans to both shareholders and clients, means that some entity, on the side of all these failed bets, made off like a bandit!” It’s thought provoking, isn’t it?

Then, because all bad news seems to come in threes, we have the news from the National Association of Realtors that they might have been off just a little bit on home sales the past five years. Evidently the housing market has been much weaker than reported. CoreLogic of California says it could be weaker by as much as 20%!

All this underscores the growing lack of confidence in our government. It’s hard to believe them when they tell us things are getting better. Unemployment has lessened, but the past two nights I have listened to TV reports of layoffs and closings in our community. Inflation is supposedly mild, but this morning import prices were said to have risen about 10% in the last year. Housing has hit bottom, they say, but has it?

Most Americans see through the sham.

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