But without being callous to the predicament of investors in MF Global, does it really matter what happened to the money?
In my view it matters not one iota given that the USA experiences the equivalent of three MF Global events each and every day of the year with a Federal deficit of $1.3 trillion in 2011. And three MF Globals per day is just the start given the additional issues with State and local finances, poorly performing pension plans, educational debt, the mortgage woes of borrowers and the despair of the unemployed.
According to one source, MF Global had 50,000 active commodities accounts and 400 securities accounts. The average loss against these accounts is $23,809 per customer and to date a number of class actions have been initiated.
As a comparison, since the onset of the GFC, the deficits from 2007 through to and including an estimate for 2013, will be somewhere in the vicinity of $7.5 trillion dollars or $24,350 per US citizen.
Will anyone be initiating a class action on behalf of the US people against the government for those "missing funds"? Highly unlikely, and if anyone tells you that elections are the opportunity to change things then they should be quoted the words of the anarchist who said that.... IF VOTING CHANGED ANYTHING, THEY'D MAKE IT ILLEGAL.
If it appears that I am singling out the USA, then rest assured it is only because it is the largest transgressor in a world full of similar transgressors all the way from the statistically insignificant Greece to the 500 pound gorilla in Japan.
Once we add all the MF Globals of this world, we soon see that we are no longer kicking the can down the road but up a very steep hill. At some point that can will become so large and heavy that it will roll back down the hill and crush everyone of us.
The Social Security Trust Fund is just a cruel hoax. The government is no more a trustee of workers' entitlements than a pedophile can be a guardian of a child. Future waves of retirees will be betrayed and made paupers.
In the meantime people everywhere struggle for survival and those that can sleep easy "are either well prepared or ignorant".
The well prepared are paying down debt and hoarding precious metals because these cannot be contaminated by a insolvent system that is interlinked to the nth degree.
As others have pointed out, we have merely borrowed our standard of living to date. Rest assured we will pay dearly but not with dollars or yen or yuan (a.k.a. as renminbi). We will pay dearly with suffering, wars, anxiety, uncertainty and a diminished standard of living for perhaps the rest of human history unless we redefine economic growth and adopt non-destructive and non-confrontational means of dispute resolution.
The USA has a historical and moral imperative to recoup lost time and opportunities because despite all else, it is still the best suited and best equipped nation for creating a new paradigm of influence through confluence. To do this it must first re-think the current processes by which wealth is created, distributed and destroyed at all levels, whether they be government, business or individuals and whether it be at home or abroad.
We live in a world where quantity (debt and paper assets) is ranked above quality and look where that has put us. To the contrary neither gold or silver are about quantity. They are about quality and their performance always has and always will prove that point when governments and banks do insane things.
Only the younger generations are more valuable than gold and silver, because in their absence or in the absence of their ability to find well paid jobs with which to underwrite functional and solvent households, the wealth of this world will count for little when old age is upon us.
The demographic freight train headed our way will not be averted by QE, currency swaps and bombing Iran off the map. The older members of the world are starting to seriously outpace the younger members and this carries distressing levels of pension and medical liabilities. Europe in this regard is the time bomb with the shortest fuse.
And this is where precious metals and young people are the two sides of the same coin which is called functional civilization. Both are denied their rightful place. Both have been ignored. The young are beaten by police batons and precious metals shorted by manipulators. The young have had their jobs exported and the job that precious metals once performed has been given to cheap impostors called fiat currencies.
Laws can be drafted and enacted overnight. Bombs can be dropped and missiles launched at the touch of a button. However, the consequences of crumbling societies and war require decades to reverse and neither time nor current "attitudes" are on our side.
MF Global and the damage it did came to an end but the three MF Globals per day committed by the Federal Government will continue until people either wake up or their belly becomes empty.
It is time to give young people jobs and in turn they will buy houses, have children and feed the future. Any other scheme is a scam, any other angle is an abyss, any other deal is a delusion. Likewise, measurements and comparisons by numbers and movements in stock markets are almost meaningless unless gold is the common denominator and the reference point.
How many MF Globals do we need to cop on the chin before we stop turning the other cheek? How many MF Globals can the system take?
Let's pray that in 2012 leaders, losers and winners find a different way. Until then......