December 19, 2011
72% “True-up” Bulk Transfers have started
Due in large part to the efforts of the CCC, the SIPC Trustee began bulk transfers to true up holders of US-domiciled balances and values last week. CCC Members should check their statements at their new FCMs to verify they are being restored properly. Please note that these transfers do not include foreign denominated balances or positions held on foreign exchanges, as those amounts are not yet under the Trustee’s control. Customers who experience any issues with the transfer process should email email@example.com and cc firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of their problem.
SPECIAL NOTICE to CCC MEMBERS: ALL CUSTOMERS MUST FILE A CLAIM FORM. Otherwise, you risk having all funds and property you received via interim distributions taken back from you. If you have engaged an attorney, including James L. Koutoulas, Esq., you MUST provide your attorney a copy of your completed claim form and proof that you submitted it. Due to the limited resources of the CCC, the CCC cannot review or file individual claims. Claim preparation and filing is the responsibility of each customer.
Claims Form FAQ Released
Our claims form FAQ has been released. You may download it here: http://commoditycustomercoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Claims_Form_Guide1.pdf Please be advised that this FAQ is by no means a complete guide to completing the claims form, but it is provided on an informational-only basis to answer some common questions. If you have specific questions about your individual claim, please email email@example.com and cc firstname.lastname@example.org. The proper preparation of the claims form is your responsibility. Also, please be advised of these additional FAQs from the CME and Trustee:
Specifically Identifiable Property Call on Monday
The CCC legal team is participating in a conference call on Monday morning with the Trustee to gain some clarity as to how physicals will be distributed in the third bulk transfer.
A Note on Customers Who Maintain General Liability Policies
We recommend that customers who have general liability policies discuss with their insurance agents the possibility of filing claims for theft with those policies. As MF Global failed to provide proper custody of the funds, it is possible that customers may be able to tap their general liability policies due to a suspected theft of property. Please discuss this with your insurance agent as soon as possible. Please note that the CCC is not an expert on insurance issues and all discussion regarding the applicability of coverage should be discussed with your agent.
It appears that this process will require us to maintain a presence in New York and perhaps Washington, DC indefinitely. Even though James, John, Jim Mayer and others are working for free (and our co-counsel is working at a discount), our expenses are mounting, especially with regards to co-counsel’s assistance in the preparation of legal filings and travel expenses. We need your donation to continue the fight to return your property and confidence in the futures industry.
If you would like to make a donation, please do so only on a purely voluntarily basis. And, please do not donate any amount that you cannot comfortably afford. If there are any excess donations at the conclusion of this engagement, we will return them pro rata. You may donate by wire transfer or Paypal:
Wire Transfer Instructions:
Beneficiary Bank Information
Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Street Address: 10 S Dearborn Street, 34th floor
Swift Code: CHASUS 33 (For international wires only)
City, State, or Country: Chicago, IL USA
Crediting Account Number: 981358781
Crediting Account Name: James L. Koutoulas
If you know additional MF Global Customers wishing to join our group, you may forward them this email and instruct them to sign up for this list here: http://eepurl.com/hnbTs.
After several weeks of JPMorgan receiving continuances, the court finally heard our objection to MF Global Holdings’ use of cash-collateral this week. While we did not outright defeat their use of cash, we were successful in negotiation a reservation of rights clause that provides that any of the 23.5M in cash provided to MFGH can be clawed back by customers if that specific bank account is found to have contained any customer money. The judge also granted our request for a limited investigation as to whether any customer funds were held in this particular bank account. James continues to work with co-counsel on our next steps in pursuing recoveries against the MFGH estate. We are also in negotiations with both legal groups that are working on class-action suits against the MF directors and their insurance coverage and may be joining them in the near future.
NOTE: While the CCC makes its best efforts to assist every customer, our primary goal is the overall recovery of customer property for all customers. We do not have the resources to provide personal legal advice in matters beyond this scope. If you wish to have a greater amount of individual attention or be represented in an individual matter, please contact Trace Schmeltz at Barnes & Thornburg to discuss a separate retainer.
It was a very busy week in DC, with two hearings, as well as a flurry of lobbying activity and congressional support on behalf of the CCC. We would first like to thank members of the Senate Agriculture Committee and members of the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Financial Services Committee for their efforts and for opening their doors to the CCC. We hope that both committees will endeavor to continue their work on behalf of the industry.
The CCC worked hard with members of Congress, congressional staff and committee staff on these hearings. We hosted several conference calls with committee staff and congressional staff, authored questions for the hearings and met with Congressmen and Senators in the hopes of shaping the outcome of the hearings. It is nothing short of miraculous that we were able to access so many members of Congress so quickly. We took the message of the CCC all over Capitol Hill, from members with affected constituents to the Speaker of the House himself—and we did it in a way that had an immediate, measureable impact. Every member of the CCC who called their representative, wrote a letter, email or fax deserves credit for this.
We will continue to advise Congress as the MF Global bankruptcy winds its way through Capitol Hill. We maintain that this is not a left/right issue, but a right/wrong issue and commend members of both parties who—with one notable exception—kept the focus of these hearings on the matter at hand.
We also would like to thank CCC member Dean Tofteland for his testimony before the Senate. Called the star witness by Senator Bennet (D-Colorado), Dean provided straight forward testimony as to the impact of the MF Global bankruptcy on commodity producers and consumers. Testifying before the Senate is a very imposing task and Dean performed admirably.
Additionally, the CCC would like to thank CME Executive Chairman Terry Duffy for his forthright testimony in support of the customers of MF Global. It appears that Mr. Duffy took the opportunity presented by the hearings to voice strong institutional support for the priority return of customer property.
Letter to Court from Suburban Chicago Congressmen
The majority of members of Congress do not sit on committees which have jurisdiction over matters in the MF Global bankruptcy, though they have constituents affected by it. While these members will have an opportunity to vote on any legislation which comes out of this process, many were looking to do something now to help MF Global customers. We suggested a letter to the court from members of Congress supporting the 100% return of customer property as soon as possible.
But the legislative calendar is working against us. Congress has packed the upcoming week with legislative business and they will be breaking for Christmas at some point. Congress won’t return to session until late January, which means any letter would have to get circulated, signed and delivered this week.
Taking the lead in this effort was Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL-8), who suggested that the letter be circulated to the offices of Chicago area Congressmen this week. Since these members caucus together, it is easier for them to communicate quickly. These members also have the greatest concentration of constituents affected by the bankruptcy. Congressman Walsh’s office will circulate the letter and it will be filed with the court this week. We will post a copy of the letter once it is filed.
Twitter & Facebook Campaigns
There are a number of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who deserve our gratitude. Culpable players in this mess faced tough questions from the majority of members who participated in the hearings. Additionally, there were many members who helped us along the way whether or not they were members of the committee. Please take a moment and post a short thank you on behalf of the CCC and all MF Global customers for their support. Please make sure your message is personalized for maximum impact.
Twitter note: Twitter has the potential for issues to become viral very quickly. The more CCC members sign up for twitter, follow specific congressmen, as well as James (https://twitter.com/#!/jameskoutoulas) and John (https://twitter.com/#!/BTRTradingGroup) the better. Twitter topics can “trend” and be viewable by a wide audience, so it is important to mention relevant individuals ie “@jameskoutoulas” or "@BTRTradingGroup" and issues by using “hash tags (#)” ie “Boycott #JPM” or "#MFGLOBAL" in your tweets so that they can “trend.” We know Twitter is confusing initially, but it is a very important tool for drawing attention to our issues, so thank you for your patience in learning it.
Please use the specific Twitter and Facebook pages below. To avoid running afoul of the Hatch Act and other laws separating campaign resources from congressional resources, many of the members maintain 2 Twitter/Facebook pages—one for campaign purposes and one for congressional purposes. The IDs and pages below are verified as those monitored by Congressional staff, not campaign staff—this is who we are trying to reach. Please note that the CCC does not view this as a partisan issue. The members listed either gave special consideration to the CCC or did a superb job in the view of the CCC. There are more Republicans listed than Democrats, as more Republicans took part in recent hearings. Some members are not listed as they do not have a social media presence or are not seeking reelection.
|Francisco "Quico" Canseco||R-TX-23||@RepCanseco||http://www.facebook.com/RepCanseco|
|Stephen Lee Fincher||R-TN-8||@RepFincherTN08||http://www.facebook.com/representativestephenfincher|
|Michael E. Capuano||D-MA-8||NA||http://www.facebook.com/RepMichaelCapuano|
The Next Steps
Continuing in Congress
We will continue to work with and advise Congress regarding the MF Global bankruptcy. The O&I Committee of the House Financial Services Committee is holding the congressional record open for the next 30 days for additional questions. Please email email@example.com if you have suggestions for questions for those who attending the hearing Thursday. We will also be working with members of Congress regarding new hearings in the first quarter of the year.
Taking the Fight to JPM
It is clear that JPM is working the bankruptcy progress to its advantage. JPMorgan is deeply ingrained throughout this matter, having served as the custodian for much of the segregated funds in question, being the biggest lender to MF Global, buying customer claims, and possibly having received favorable treatment the purchase of London Metals Exchange stock and European Sovereign Bonds from the MF Global estate. Given the testimony in Congress last week, there is enough evidence to reasonably think that JPMorgan has acted adverse to customers whose property it was supposed to protect in its role as custodian.
This has led James to issue a “declaration of war” on JPM on behalf of the CCC: http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilylambert/2011/12/15/mf-global-customers-target-jp-morgan/ In this vein, the CCC is working on a campaign to have members move any business possible out of JPM to help put pressure on JPMorgan to honor its responsibilities.
CCC in the News
CCC continued a strong presence in the media this week, with appearances on Fox Business, multiple appearances on CNN’s the Situation Room, Bloomberg and international media (Canadian and French TV). We also appeared in publications from Forbes to Barron’s. Check out our “CCC in the News” page on our website for the latest clips and links to media— http://commoditycustomercoalition.org/?page_id=126, as well as our new Videos page— http://commoditycustomercoalition.org/?page_id=769. Not all videos have been released yet, but we will make them available as soon as they are. Again, this presence is critical and we hope to maintain it going forward.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions, from time to money to thoughts and prayers. In a very short time, the people involved in our organization have come together, put forth an agenda and influenced the 8th largest bankruptcy in US history for the better. We wish you and your families a very happy holiday season and hope that this week’s bulk transfers will make it a little more enjoyable.