Saturday, August 25, 2012


I know I had said previously that I was going to get off the PFG topic, but I just decided to read through the court docket to see what was going on and there is a mushroom cloud now above the city of San Diego. The following are a few excerpts from recent court filings:

. The Trustee also requests authority to increase the compensation paid to the 
Debtor’s general counsel, Rebecca Wing.  During calendar year 2011, the Debtor paid Ms. Wing 
$380,219.92 annually, which was comprised of a base salary and bonus.  During the Trustee’s 
operation of the Debtor’s business, it has become apparent that Ms. Wing’s services are 
invaluable.  Ms. Wing contains a wealth of knowledge regarding the Debtor’s business and has 
extensive experience as a commodity/financial  services attorney.  Based on the outstanding 
services provided by Ms. Wing, the Trustee requests authority to modestly increase her annual 
compensation to $400,000.  This amount represents only a slight increase in Ms. Wing’s salary 
from calendar year 2011.    

You mean to tell me I am paying a frickin attorney more than she was paid while she participated in the theft of my money, because of how valuable she is? If she were that valuable we would not be in this predicament. How valuable could she be, they have not returned one red cent to us, ZILCH. If it were not for her would we have had to pay in additional money? This is an insult to anyone walking uprights intelligence.

By this Motion, the Trustee requests further 
authority to continue these benefit programs postpetition (collectively, the “Employee Benefits” 
and together with the Wages, the “Employee Obligations”).  The Employee Benefits include the 
Case 12-27488    Doc 123    Filed 08/22/12    Entered 08/22/12 10:09:25    Desc Main
 Document      Page 7 of 9

a. Vacation benefits.  Unless otherwise agreed to by the Debtor, after six 
months of eligible service, an employee is entitled to five vacation days; 
after one year of service, an employee is entitled to ten vacation days; and 
after two or more years, an employee is entitled to fifteen vacation days 
each year.    As of the Petition Date, certain Retained Employees had 
accrued unused vacation days.  The Trustee requests that all Retained 
Employees be authorized to use such accrued vacation days as authorized 
by the Trustee while the Trustee operates the Debtor’s business.  The 
Trustee does not propose to “cash out” any unused vacation time and he is 
not seeking authority to pay the same. 

b. Insurance.   The Debtor provided insurance  coverage and other benefit 
plans to its Retained Employees, which included dental, vision, health, 
disability and life insurance.  The Trustee requests authority to continue 
the insurance obligations for the Retained Employees for the period prior 
to the Petition Date and while the Trustee operates the Debtor’s business.
c. 401(k) Obligations.  The Debtor sponsored a 401(k) retirement savings 
plan that is administered through a third-party.  The Debtor provided its 
Retained Employees with a matching contribution (“Contribution 
Program”).  The Trustee does not  seek authority to continue the 
Contribution Program, but seeks authority to permit the Retained 
Employees to continue making contributions to their 401(k) plans. 
d. Flexible Spending Accounts.  The Debtor provided its Retained 
Employees with a flexible spending account plan (“Flex Accounts”), 
pursuant to which some Retained Employees maintain accounts for 
healthcare and dependent care.  Under the Flex Accounts, Retained 
Employees have amounts withheld  from their paychecks and those 
amounts subsequently can be used to reimburse Retained Employees for 
their healthcare and dependent care expenses.  The Trustee seeks approval 
of this Court to continue the Flex Accounts with respect to the Retained 

Now we are going to keep paying these ...... not only their salaries with our money, but vacation and flexible benefit spending accounts? This is a systematic scheme to bleed us completely dry. That asshole was paying these people these exact benefits out of our money illegally for years, and now that it has sent the company into bankruptcy and some of us onto the verge of that, we see a motion to continue the same? Pay them a salary, fine, but not this other stuff. They don't have anywhere else to go in bum fuck egypt where this place is located to begin with. Are they in such demand that we are bidding for their services? For god sakes this makes me so mad I cannot tell you.

This may seem insensitive on some level since most if not all of the remaining employees are probably good honest people who had nothing to do with any of this. However, what we have to keep in mind is that they are employed on a false premise. I would not choose to just piss more and more of what little money I am likely to get back here, paying these people to do anything. The whole process of bankruptcy is designed to just completely ruin the victims and enrich the lawyers. I will now be drafting a letter to the trustee, this is just beyond belief to me. This all leads me to the following.

When this is all over, and I have recovered by earning back my money through trading, I am going to be on a mission to go after all those who participated in this scheme to take all of our money. If you just do the math from some of the court documents about the $650 an hour one group is being paid, you can see that the longer they can draw this out, the more likely it is they can take all the money and not have to pay any of us anything. Give me $250 and hour and I guarantee I can do an equal or better job of whatever they are doing for that $650. I have an IQ of 145 do you think many of those people can best that? I doubt it. If they can I have a sister who resides at 170 on the IQ scale, that I could bring in as a consultant, if I am too stupid to pull it off. These people have a great scheme, just designed to bilk victims. This is just absolutely sickening.

I am not sure when or where, but I know the what. I will go after these people with everything I have at some point in time, and they are going to wish I had never been born. It will all be legal, but it will be relentless. I seemingly have survived this albeit barely, but many others have already been driven out of business, while the trustee just merrily prances around pissing away our money. I hope he is enjoying his tea every day. His argument that since the case is based on fraud they want to make sure they don't give someone money who does not deserve it is absurd. When was the last time any commodities firm mistakenly made an error to the positive on a statement balance? I have traded for almost 30 years and never had that happen even once. For him to argue that they have to spend millions of our money making sure something that is almost unprecedented, did not happen, should be illegal.

On a positive front, I did find the solution for getting funds covered by insurance, and it is a really great one.


Joe, if you are reading this post, thank you. I also think there was another comment or two about this in the blog, and I don't recall who made them. You mentioned this to me a while ago, and I did nothing with it, but finally decided to check into it. TD has a daily sweep into an FDIC insured account of any excess margin, which would then be insured up to 250k. They have two such options, so that allows basically up to 500k per account, that could be covered. Open positions are not covered in this fashion, so any margin there would be segregated and subject to theft. With large account balances I trade way under margin, so in this case had I had my money at TD, the over 500k amount would be all that would have been lost. I was flat when this went down, so I would have only lost the amount I had in excess of 500k, which is a hit I could live with.

This is just tremendous news, and really lifted my spirits yesterday after I left their office having conference called with their people in Chicago. I did ask for it in writing and they are working on that, but it actually is right in the account application documents. I also think from talking to them, their Sink or Swim platform is pretty good. I have yet to try it, but I will put up with it no matter how it is, for the safety that is available here. Of course as well all have learned, seg money is just a sitting duck to be stolen, but here we have some back stopping of things due to this being a bank.

Yee Ha, this takes a load of my mind because it has really been nagging me knowing that there are other seg thefts clearly going on that have not been discovered yet. It is my belief that just like MF Global, daily usage of Segregated money for company business, especially with firms that do prop trading, routinely goes on. It is tough to plan a business knowing you are hoping just by random chance you can luckily move your money around right before someone else steals it. That is not much of a business plan.

Now to some market talk.

I would normally say the Gold market here was more of a sell setup than a buy, NORMALLY. The reason why I don't think it is now is that this market like the stock market, is being manipulated by governments to rise. At some point even though I do not like that, I have to accept that it is what it is. I discussed often that recent support level and how important it was. Now that it has clearly held and we are flying higher, even though I see the COT data shows heavy small spec buying, and an overly bullish sentiment, I think that can be ignored. Since stocks and GOLD are so closely tied together now, and the stock market is in full bull mode, I see no reason to be bearish on Gold.

One of the reasons that I like the COT data, is that it gives hard fundamental information to look at. However, what I don't like about it is a couple of things. First, I think some groups are getting improperly classified, and as a result, the numbers are not as reliable as they used to be. Second, even if they are accurate, they are not great for short term trading, which is what I focus on. The purpose of showing this chart is to illustrate an instance where I think COT should be ignored. We have a buy the pull back situation here in my view at this point.

You can see how well the entries on pullbacks where my bands are work. I have several labeled with just one being lousy, the last one. What this calls for now is a pullback to the green band for long entries. It currently calls for about 1360ish. This will rise as price does, or goes sideways. The bottom line is that I am looking to buy a pullback, hopefully a steep one that gets every one scared. Will we get it? Who knows, but I have a plan if we do. I do not see anything in the COT data here that tells me anything. There is selling going on in the Proxy and regular Commercial position, but when that happens against the trend I ignore it.

For the most part we have up trends everywhere and it is buy the pullbacks, with exceptions being Coffee and Sugar, and I might have left a few others out.

Enjoy the weekend


Anonymous said...

And what about looking at the 5 dollars mini dow cor data?
I think in these last months it is a more accurate reading.

For PFG situation... Well... I thought i was the only one here or a couple of ones maybe as living in Italy.... But what i am seeing PFG's stuff seems a lot to italian business style


Vikas said...

I use TD Ameritrade as well, and you're right, they sweep funds into an insured account. The trading platform is not bad at all if you ask me, but you will also hear a lot of people complain about it, but its fairly customizable, etc.

As far as ES goes, the eurodollar cycle calls for a decline around the first week or September which should be bought I think.

Anonymous said...

How much does ameritrade charge for their trades and How much for that particular Insurance for 500 k ...Thanks Chris


Wayne said...

Chris, I have been trading futures since the early 80s, and had over 400K in PFG, essentially all of my trading capital. Unfortunately, I had PLANNED to split my accounts, withdraw some money, etc. But I am in the process of moving and decided I'd leave it there temporarily and pull it out when I found my next house to buy. So much for that. I do have a process I have been using for years to stash "excess funds" and that is to have my first mortgage on my house be a Home Equity Line of Credit. I have done this on three houses (I move a lot). I keep any excess margin in the HELOC and withdraw it whenever I'm in need of additional margin. What safer place to have your money than as equity in your own house? It's easy to transfer to checking and wire in whenever needed. The flipside of that is you need the discipline to wire it back when you no longer need it in the futures account. Wayne

John M said...

Those court filings are outrageous. Beyond belief. Now, you're usually in the conservative/libertarian-ish camp and I'm generally left of center, but I don't think the good, honest people who worked at that firm should be kept on salary or anything else. Their boss stole the place and its customers blind, it's done, out of business, game over. There's no reason to pay people who no longer have any legitimate job at a company that de facto does not exist. When mismanagement leads to a company going belly up over a longer term, people have to go out and find jobs, and these people are no different because it was a surprise (though longer in the situation creation), or because it's the financial industry or because their boss was a thief.

I see no reason why your money or anyone else's should be used to continue paying them or the possibly wildly incompetent lawyer who served the firm well by not seeing any signals of what was going on. And that's my bleeding heart liberal take on the matter.

Chris Johnston said...

John if there is one thing that has happened to me politically over all of this it is that I am now agnostic. I am so sick of both sides and all the crap that goes on, neither one of them want to help anyone but themselves. I would really be curious to see what keeping all these people on staff is doing up there. I just can't see how that could help in the liquidation process. What are they doing using feather dusters to make sure the stuff they are selling looks good?

Wayne, I am sorry to hear about your situation, I am upside down a tad on my ranch so there is no option for me along the lines you detailed there. I do like the idea though.

I sent the trustee a sharp letter over all of this and got a reply that they promised to review it and get back to me. That skit with the attorney is incredible, if I had seen that in print I would never have believed it. Some great attorney, has such deep knowledge of the business, is she an expert in farse? We should bill her for 20 years times her salary.

It does appear opening any account at a Canadian firm qualifies one for fraud coverage from their government. I am calling RJ O'Brien up there tomorrow to make sure of this. My friends up there may have told me wrong on this one.

John M said...

Chris, I hear you on the agnosticism. I'm feeling the same way, to be honest.

My account is at RJO through a broker in Texas my brother introduced me to. Completely an accident, but if you're considering them I'm glad I'm there. They must be doing something right.

klh said...

that "increase" for the "valuable" attorney's salary is totally revolting. Anything they need from her they should be able to get by subpoena anyway. maybe she is "cooperating" like themafia stooges did, give me the good deal and I will help you send the other ones to jail.

I will try to post this to some other boards and see if they can get a tidal wave of response - I would cc the CFTC and NFA as well - the are responsible for protecting us, but they havent and they should have their nose rubbed in it. I am sorry Matt Taibi isnt on this either - he and Aaron Task get the mainstream aware.


Rigorous said...

I would really like to know your experience on the Think or Swim platform for futures trading. I use Interactive Brokers.

You are becoming cynical at the wrong time.

Chris Johnston said...

so you think it is fine to give the pfg lawyer a raise? She should be fired much less a raise you are the first person I have come across who agreed with the corleone for her

I will let you know on the platform later this week I wired money there today

Chris Johnston said...

there has now been over 2 Billion stolen from Seg money in the last few years between the 3 cases. If you are referring to that than yes I am cynical on seg accounts they are nothing of the kind they are "money on the floor" just waiting to be taken, and are being taken somewhere right now in a place where they just have not been caught yet