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Calling All Farmers: MF Global Customer Cry for Help or Why Will Obama Lose MI, OH, IA, and WI?

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 25, 2012 10:16 AM |

I personally believe the exchange I had with a farmer located in central Michigan is so important that I hope people who come to the site will not pass over this but might actually try to put yourself in this individual’s position. TYVM…..LD 

I grew up parochially having been taught that “thou shalt not steal” meant you leave your hands off what is not yours.

The quote referenced above came to me from a farmer in central Michigan who remains entangled in the MF Global debacle.

Why is it that so many people in our nation and around the world have such little trust in our government and those charged with protecting their interests in the markets?

Having written endlessly on that very question my words are empty compared to the impassioned cries for help from those individuals who have suffered and continue to suffer from the shortcomings and failures of our government officials and financial regulators.

On the heels of my writing the other day about the ongoing MF Global debacle, I received what can only be defined as a “cry for help” from a farmer in central Michigan. With his permission, I am running the exchange I had with him this morning. Please take the time to read, ponder, and share his plea with your friends, family, and colleagues.

This individual farmer is representative of so many individuals whom Uncle Sam and his incestuous minions have failed. While protecting this farmer’s identity, I welcome providing him a voice. You can give strength to his plea by spreading this commentary via every outlet possible.

Larry Doyle,

I just finished reading your latest commentary on John Corzine and his attorneys diatribe. I am livid! I am one of the group tied into the commodity fiasco, using futures contracts to lock my prices in agricultural operations.

This hedging is why the CFTC was created. As banks pay no interest I left a large sum of money in the MF Global account. I used the money for margin calls knowing that there is always a bottom in the market and if I held on things would reverse themselves and I could at least break even.

One year after the MF Global fiasco, I finally had to accept an offer to buy my own money back at a loss on several items. My hedge account was down late last October 2011. We don’t sell agricultural commodities at harvest as prices are historically low. Because of ants in the sugar, this closing out cost me.

Then MF Global brought a margin call despite the fact that I left many times more money in the account for just such a situation. Then, I have no money in the account “collateral” so no equity to borrow against for the current year’s agricultural expenses or margin money to lock in my prices.

Then the negotiations for my money began, offering to buy my debt for far less than it was worth. All kinds of promises are aired, the trustee, CFTC, CME Group all assured me (us) that the situation would be corrected. Someone forgot that  this is time sensitive, like a margin call or drawing a breath.

One year later, while some of my own money has been returned, there is no mention of remuneration for all the other losses. I could join the class action suit and maybe in 25 years something will be returned.

I grew up parochially having been taught that “thou shalt not steal” meant you leave your hands off what is not yours. Take a paper note into a bank and demand $10 that isn’t yours and watch how fast things happen.

Where do I sign up to divert some of the political campaign contributions back to my sweat equity. Oops, that would be illegal.

John Corzine, can I borrow your Black Amex card for a year? One hundred thousand is not a big deal for you. It is to me, my family, my town and my business.

A Michigan Farmer


Your words here are very powerful. Can I run your message at my blog? I can run it either with our without your name whichever you might prefer. Do you mind my asking you where you live and farm?

Thanks for taking the time to write. We have not forgotten about you.



Yes run it. First name is fine, or no name, but reprisals worry me. I was born in east central Michigan, worked all over the world and like 70% of the people in the US live within 40 miles of where I grew up. Vassar, Michigan is 100 miles north of Detroit.

I am not a mega farmer so this event is particularly crippling, in a hard hit economic state.

Wish I could turn written words into income. Hedging by futures is so clean and clear. I taught some of the agricultural people here about it. Now they are asking me what to do. I want to forward my note to Terry Duffy and the MF Global trustee. If you have their ear, please be my guest.

A full year later and I am STILL looking for my lost $100k.

Vassar, MI

I hope this commentary will reach other farmers directly or indirectly impacted by the MF Global debacle. You also have a voice here. Anybody with a connection to Mr. Duffy and others connected to this human tragedy, please share this commentary with them as well. To Brad and all the other farmers, you also have a voice at the polls in a few weeks.

The states of Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio may very well decide the election. How has the current administration protected your interests?

We have not forgotten about you.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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