Cherchez le château Française

The Democratic 1%, benefiting from crony capitalism, are very different from thee (probably) and me (definitely).  Just how different?  Read about former New Jersey Democrat senator, former New Jersey Democrat governor and almost US Treasury Secretary Jon Corzine's activities just a few weeks before the firm he headed, MF Global, spectacularly imploded in the eighth largest US bankruptcy in history.  

Corzine allegedly committed a major violation, raiding separate, segregated customer accounts without the owners' permission or knowledge, to cover the firm's losses.  Over a billion dollars are missing, leaving many, including farmers who routinely funded future commodity purchases through the firm, with major--and as of now, unrecoverable--losses. 
But Corzine wasn't concentrating exclusively on his company's impending doom.
 Here is a hint to the Feds and those diligent accountants searching for the missing money: cherchez le château Française. It was of interest to the Corzine family as his company was sinking. 

According to a Vanity Fair report, the couple attended a 60th birthday party -- for New York real estate developer Daniel Brodsky's wife -- in Paris, where Corzine and Elghanayan boasted to fellow guests about their plans to snap up a sprawling Riviera residence.

"Two weeks before MF Global filed for bankruptcy, [Corzine and Elghanayan] were at a birthday party in Paris talking about a chateau they were about to buy in the South of France," VF claims, adding that Elghanayan told a fellow guest, " 'It's not in Cap Ferrat' . . . perhaps to mitigate the extravagance."

"To buy any decent chateau is at least a couple of million euros," another person at the Oct. 15 party told Vanity Fair, adding, "And that is before the renovation with the air-conditioning and the new kitchen. Sharon was very excited. She said she was flying down there on Monday morning."

Meanwhile, farmers living in homes not châteaus, on American farms not Cap Ferrat in France, are suffering.  And much of the rest of the country, living in homes, condos, rented apartments or doubling up with others who like to eat might be suffering shortly. 
For the first time in 25 years, Minnesota farmer Dean Tofteland has missed his deadline to buy seed for next spring's corn and soybean crops.

With $200,000 of his money yet to be returned from the accounts of MF Global, his former broker, the 49-year-old farmer has missed a $5,000 discount for early buyers, and is watching friends and neighbors snap up the best varieties of seeds.

In the latest sign of how MF Global's failure is continuing to cascade across the commodity industry, Tofteland and other farmers who have yet to recover more than a third of their money from the bankrupt broker now find themselves in a cash crunch that risks rippling far beyond the futures market.

Some farmers have had to postpone purchases of land or equipment. Tofteland still expects to sow his 1,000 acres in the southwest corner of the state, but may have to borrow money to do so.

Still, the delay in returning billions of dollars in customer funds more than a month after MF Global filed for bankruptcy is starting to affect actual decisions on the farm. This threatens to cloud the outlook for U.S. crops, warn farmers who have been ratcheting up pressure on the bankruptcy trustee to move faster to disperse any cash he secures..

"That's pretty serious when you're raising food for the country and the world," Tofteland said.


The amount of money that we have tied up is significant," Tofteland said. "Because of this I've been delaying my seed purchase decisions."

Tofteland normally would have made his purchases at least two weeks ago to take advantage of discounts for farmers who buy early. He has avoided borrowing money in order to do so because he does not want to take on more debt but says he will consider a loan if the delay persists.

Oh well, the occupy occupiers will see to it that the hard working farmers can farm in French chateaus instead.  That's how Corzine started out in life, growing up on a family farm in central Illinois.  And look at him now.

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