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4 Signs of an Ongoing Global Economic Collapse
The cracks in the ice are getting bigger. At this point it is really hard to have much confidence in the global financial system at all. They told us that MF Global was an isolated incident. Well, the horrific financial scandal over at PFGBest is essentially MF Global all over again. They told us that we would not see a huge wave of municipal bankruptcies in the United States. Well, three California cities have declared bankruptcy in less than a month. They told us that we could have faith in the integrity of the global financial system. Well, now we are finding out that global interest rates have been fixed by insiders for years. They told us that Greece was an isolated problem and that none of the larger European nations would experience anything remotely similar. Well, what is happening in Spain right now looks like an instant replay of exactly what happened in Greece. So who are we supposed to believe? Why does it seem like nearly everything that “the authorities” tell us turns out to be a lie? What else haven’t they been telling us?
The following are four reasons to be even less optimistic about the global financial system than you were last month….
#1 PFGBest Is MF Global All Over Again
Do you remember that whole MF Global thing?
Do you remember how hundreds of millions of dollars of customer funds were “missing” due to “accounting irregularities”?
Well, it is happening again.
PFGBest is a brokerage firm in Cedar Falls, Iowa that mostly handles agricultural futures.
All hell broke loose when the National Futures Association discovered that a bank account that was supposed to be holding 225 million dollars of customer funds was only holding about 5 million dollars instead.
So where is the other 220 million dollars?
That is a very good question.
Of course it is not a promising sign that the head of PFGBest tried to commit suicide when this news came out.
A lot of PFGBest clients are going to be absolutely devastated by this scandal. The following is from a recent Reuters article….
Farmers on Tuesday fumed at the prospect of financial losses, or at a minimum a lengthy wait for the return of frozen funds, due to alleged mismanagement at brokerage PFGBest, and some said they had been burned for the last time.
The U.S. futures industry reeled as regulators accused Iowa-based PFGBest of misappropriating more than $ 200 million in customer funds for more than two years, a new blow to trader trust just months after MF Global’s collapse.
Centered in the heart of farm belt, the firm handled agricultural futures accounts for a number of clients who grow corn, soybeans and cotton.
But it is not just PFGBest clients that are going to feel the pain of this scandal.
The truth is that this is going to deeply shake confidence in the entire global financial system.
Many dismissed what happened at MF Global as an “isolated incident”.
But now it is happening again.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
#2 A Third California City Goes Bankrupt In Less Than A Month
First it was Stockton.
Then it was Mammoth Lakes.
Now it is San Bernardino’s turn.
On Tuesday, the city council of San Bernardino, California voted to file for bankruptcy.
An article in the Los Angeles Times detailed the issues at the heart of San Bernardino’s financial problems….
The city’s fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation’s crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento’s raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.
While it would be easy to dump on the state of California (and that is something I have done quite often), the truth is that we are seeing municipal debt problems erupting all over the United States.
For example, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania has such severe financial problems that the mayor of Scranton has ordered that all city employees be paid minimum wage until a solution to the crisis is found.
If this was television, Dwight Schrute would find a way to save the day for Scranton.
Unfortunately, this is real life and Dwight Schrute does not exist in real life.