"It is deja vu all over again."
John Roe, co-founder of the Commodity Customer Coalition
Indeed, the word on the street, that would be Wall Street, is that Peregrine Financial Group, or PFGBest is done. Done as in its founder and CEO Russell Wasendorf is listed in critical condition in a hospital following a suicide attempt. Done as in the National Futures Association has frozen customer accounts. Done as in estimates are that the company is missing around $200 million that it claimed to have on account.
This sort of sordid practice is becoming all too familiar. Last October MF Global tanked when over a billion dollars went poof. Now PFGBest has done the same thing, although on a smaller scale. Still $200 million is not an insignificant amount unless you are someone like Mitt Romney.
MSNBC is reporting that regulators "have reason enough to believe the firm doesn't have enough assets to meet customer obligations." The FBI is investigating and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is all ready filing suit. The allegations are fraud, customer funds violations and making false statements.
It is reported that employees are clearing out their desks at the Cedar Falls, Iowa company that sports the corporate motto, "The best thing about our technology is our people."
It was apparently a well run scam. Last year PFGBest was given the Iowa Character Award from the group Character Counts in Iowa. Too bad they didn't know what kind of characters were actually in charge.
It makes you wonder who is keeping an eye on all this chicanery, or I suppose, who isn't. These three card monte games are run by the same people who scream about too many government regulations and restrictions. They are the ones who want to be given free reign so they can go utterly amok, completely unfettered and obviously unindicted.
It is starting to look like it is more sensible to send your bank account number to some guy in Nigeria with the hope he'll deposit funds in it rather than deal with these greed heads.
Do you have to check your morals at the door when they award you that MBA? How many millions are enough? I guess we haven't reached that number yet.
No, it is just another two bit street con only on a much bigger scale. The only thing separating the people at PFGBest and that carny inducing you to knock over the metal milk bottles on the midway is the softball the barker's hand.
At some point, as these crimes continue to mount, everyone is going to reach the same conclusion. Capitalism simply cannot be trusted to capitalists.
When that bell tolls the guys who ran places like MF Global, PFGBest and Enron will have no one to blame but themselves. They'll try of course, but by then no one will listening.
By then it will be good riddance to them all.