You are here

Morgan reportedly returns $600 million in MF Global customer funds

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Aaron Lucchetti
The Wall Street Journal
Friday, June 1, 2012

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has returned roughly $600 million that was ensnared at the bank when MF Global Holdings Ltd. collapsed in October, people familiar with the matter said.

Most of the payments haven't been disclosed publicly, and a bankruptcy trustee representing customers of the failed securities firm might pursue J.P. Morgan for as much as several hundred million dollars in additional claims, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Still, the New York bank's payments are a sign of progress in efforts to fill the estimated $1.6 billion hole left in customer accounts at MF Global. Money recovered by the bankruptcy trustee, James Giddens, eventually will be passed along to customers, though the amount depends on the outcome of continuing legal squabbles and negotiations.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Sona Discovers Potential High-Grade Gold Mineralization
at Blackdome in British Columbia -- 13.6g over 1.5 Meters

From a Company Press Release
November 22, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- With its latest surface diamond drilling program at its 100-percent-owned, formerly producing Blackdome gold mine in southern British Columbia, Sona Resources Corp. has discovered a potentially high-grade gold-mineralized area, with one hole intersecting 13.6 grams of gold in 1.5 meters of core drilling.

"We intersected a promising new mineralized zone, and we feel optimistic about the assay results," says Sona's president and CEO, John P. Thompson. "We have undertaken an aggressive exploration program that has tested a number of target zones. Our discovery of this new gold-bearing structure is significant, and it represents a positive development for the company."

Sona aims to bring its permitted Blackdome mill back into production over the next year and a half, at a rate of 200 tonnes per day, with feed from the formerly producing Blackdome mine and the nearby Elizabeth gold deposit property. A positive preliminary economic assessment by Micon International Ltd., based on a gold price of $950 per ounce over eight years, has estimated a cash cost of $208 per tonne milled, or $686 per gold ounce recovered.

For the company's complete press release, please visit:

A spokesman for Mr. Giddens said in a statement that "substantive discussions" are under way with the nation's largest bank in assets for "the resolution of other claims" made on behalf of the former customers. J.P. Morgan continues to cooperate with the investigation, the spokesman added.

J.P. Morgan was one of MF Global's biggest creditors and handled many of its trades as the New York securities firm scrambled to save itself in late October. MF Global also transferred $175 million to fix an overdraft in one of the firm's accounts at the bank, according to congressional testimony.

Bank officials have said J.P. Morgan never intentionally accepted or held on to money that belonged in segregated customer accounts at MF Global. In May, the trustee announced that J.P. Morgan agreed to hand over $168 million that came from collateral held at the bank when MF Global filed for bankruptcy.

Bank officials contend that J.P. Morgan isn't holding more MF Global money, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Giddens hasn't reached the same conclusion and could demand additional payments, claiming that money passed through J.P. Morgan on its way elsewhere, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

If that happens, J.P. Morgan might counter that its repayments to date have exceeded $600 million, not including the losses suffered by the bank as a creditor to MF Global. While that $600 million could help lower the $1.6 billion shortfall, much of that money already had come back to MF Global before the shortfall estimate was made.

Mr. Giddens is expected to disclose in a report Monday details about where the money in customer accounts went, including the portions that are believed to have gone to J.P. Morgan.

The trustee also is expected to disclose more information about how the money went missing. It isn't clear how detailed the report will be, partly because other investigators have expressed concern that too much disclosure by Mr. Giddens could hurt their continuing probes.

MF Global moved money out of customer accounts to cover margin calls and meet other obligations. No one has been charged with wrongdoing.

Jon S. Corzine, the former MF Global chief executive, and other officials at the firm have told lawmakers that they didn't realize customer money had been tapped until employees told them the day before its bankruptcy filing about an apparent shortfall.

J.P. Morgan and MF Global had close ties. The bank facilitated trades on behalf of MF Global and in the firm's final weeks, J.P. Morgan officials spoke to Mr. Corzine and other senior MF Global executives about liquidating assets and dealing with ratings firms, according to people close to those discussions.

J.P. Morgan even considered buying MF Global, but then backed away amid questions about money transfers that came up three days before the securities firm filed for bankruptcy.

MF Global officials never provided written documentation that J.P. Morgan asked for on two transfers. The bank wanted to know if the money moves were in accordance with Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules. A J.P. Morgan lawyer later told lawmakers that the bank received verbal assurances from MF Global that the transfers were proper.

Many U.S. customers have recovered 72 cents of every $1 from their MF Global accounts. They are expected to get another eight cents per dollar soon.

The $1.6 billion shortfall also includes about $700 million stuck in the U.K. bankruptcy process and is affected by money being held back by the trustee for potential legal claims. On Friday, a U.K. court scheduled a trial for April 2013 on the trustee's issues in that country.

* * *

Join GATA here:

Vancouver World Resource Investment Conference
Sunday-Monday, June 3-4, 2012
Vancouver Convention Centre East
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Standard Chartered's Earth Resources Conference
Wednesday-Thursday, June 20-21, 2012
J.W. Marriott, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Gold Investment Forum
Monday-Wednesday, June 25-27, 2012
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, Hong Kong

Toronto Resource Investment Conference
Thursday-Friday, September 27-28, 2012
Toronto Sheraton Centre Hotel
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

New Orleans Investment Conference
Wednesday-Saturday, October 24-27, 2012
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana

* * *

Support GATA by purchasing DVDs of our London conference in August 2011 or our Dawson City conference in August 2006:

Or by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt:

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

Help keep GATA going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

To contribute to GATA, please visit:


Prophecy Platinum (TSXV:NKL) Announces Encouraging Rhodium, Ruthenium, Osmium,
Iridium Assays from WS11-188 of Wellgreen Project in Yukon Territory, Canada

Company Press Release
May 25, 2012

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -- Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL; OTC-QX: PNIKF; Frankfurt: P94P) is pleased to provide results of full spectrum 6E (Platinum, Palladian, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Osmium, and Iridium) analysis of platinum group elements on the first batch of samples from the company's wholly-owned Wellgreen PGM-Ni-Cu project in the Yukon Territory, Canada.

The company enlisted Activation Laboratories (Actlabs) of Ancaster, Ontario, to conduct a full-spectrum 6E analysis of samples taken from the 2011 drill hole WS11-188. Adding Rh, Ru, Os, and Ir to Pt and Pd increased the total PGE content (6E) by an average of 28 percent, based on a population of 90 samples, most of which are from disseminated sulphide-type mineralization.

Assay results with 6E exceeding 0.50 ppm (0.5 g/t) (excluding copper and gold assays) are tabulated at Prophecy's Internet site and are available with assay results from the entire batch of 90 samples here: