Ever read junk novels that are designed for the beach? Every summer, they churn out hundreds of paperback novels that people, most often women, read by the pool or ocean. The plot in these things is the same year after year, only the characters and descriptions of them change.
Investment banking scandals are the same. No one involved with MF Global slept last night.
Big time bankers are networked to the hilt. They derive a lot of their income from having a great personal network of contacts. Great investment bankers are super connectors. Apply that logic to what is happening today.
Does anyone in their right mind think that no one else on the street might know something about what happened at MF Global? Of course people know things. They are either hoping no one asks them, or that they don’t get found out and they can write a book about the whole scandal that is published after they die. That’s why the bombshell dropped in the Senate hearings yesterday by $CME is so intriguing. It’s time to play “who knows what at which bank or fund”. Place your bets in the comments.
Someone, somewhere with really good information is talking. They are looking to save their skin. Hopefully, they have recorded everything, saved all their email and phone records. If they did, it’s only a question of time before a scandal like this begins to spread to other banks, and other bankers. Maybe even a complicit hedge fund. More information will drip out, tightening the noose on people that have clammed up. Agonizing drip by drip. The Chinese water torture that began yesterday is only beginning.
How would you like to be the guy that knows something, or did business with MF and is hoping to hide for awhile until it blows over? Now, you know someone is talking. And it’s not just an underling. It’s someone that has information and you have no way of knowing who it is or what they have. Rumsfeld logic applies for that person, the “unknown unknowns”. If you don’t want to spend any time in the pokey, your life becomes a game theory question of “prisoners dilemma”. Wait too long, get caught, and you are modeling orange jumpsuits. Go too early and you lose a lot of face on the street and have to get a real job.
Because of the titanic theft, and the fact that Corzine is so politically connected with deep and long business ties, it will take some time to tease out. But, someone knows a lot of particulars. I’d stay tuned. Scandals like these have a tipping point. Once the momentum turns, we will find the money and a lot of information about how it got to the places it went.
Next summer, it will make a good trash novel, drip by drip.