The Goldman Sachs/U.S. Senate showdown the other day was distressing. The Goldman Sachs guys obviously don't understand why the American people are so tired of their ignoring basic decency in their business practices, and the U.S. Senators don't understand why we think they are a bunch of ignorant, showboating jerks.
If you don't think the thugs who run these financial houses need oversight, consider this inside-the-paper story from the Wall Street Journal.
In 2008, a guy in Chicago, Evan Brent Dooley, had a trading account with the brokerage firm of MF Global Holdings, Ltd. Mr. Dooley traded in wheat futures. Like Wonder Bread wheat.
Traders in commodity futures bet on whether they believe the price of that commodity will go up (going "long") or it will go down (going "short").
According to the WSJ, on the night of Feb. 26, 2008 Dooley "allegedly bought and sold 31,964 wheat contracts." Note the number of contracts.
He began his trading binge "with a negative balance of about $3,000 in his account and, by the next morning, held a short position valued at $872 million."
The financial system was operating so out of any known realm of reality that a legitimate brokerage house allowed a guy who was three grand in the hole to make so many trades that in one night he was holding nearly a BILLION DOLLARS worth of contracts.
Nah. They don't need any oversight.
We dummies whose heavy involvement in financial instruments is limited to making payments on the house, the car, and the college loans can't possibly understand the nuances of the kinds of complex over-under-counter-default-oy-gevault financial instruments that Goldman Sachs and Even Brent "Hang-Down-Your-Head-Tom" Dooley deal with on a regular basis.
The geniuses who do understand all that let a guy who can't buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks run up a bill of - need we repeat - nearly a BILLION DOLLARS!
Of course, the price of wheat went up and Dooley went broke very nearly taking the whole firm with him. You'll be pleased to know he has been arrested for, charged with, and indicted on, a number of felonies based upon his one night with the big boys.
You will not be happy to know that he is being represented by a public defender in Chicago.
Gov. Charlie Christ (I-Fl), who, until yesterday afternoon, was Gov. Charlie Christ (R-Fl) has decided, that because he can't win the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, he will run for the Senate in November as an independent.