For all those who feel that I have been too gloomy in my view of the markets, and thus the economic health of the U.S., the following should somewhat vindicate my position:
Denver based Barnhardt Capital Management is a futures brokerage firm that focuses on agriculture and cattle futures, round-the-clock broker access, and inexpensive commissions. At least, it used to be.
BCM shuttered its operations yesterday. The firm's founder Ann Barnhardt posted the reasons online for the entire world to see:
"I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets' because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse."
Ms. Barnhardt further explains that markets are completely fractured... that the rule of law in the United States no longer exists. She decries Jon Corzine of MF Global for having outright stolen customer funds, and various exchanges and government regulators for having frozen out customer accounts as a result.
Given that the entire industry is "suicidally-leveraged" and exposed to "European sovereign junk debt", Barnhardt recommends that ALL customers "withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity."
I couldn't agree more with this sentiment. Leave the markets to the speculators and hotshot young brokers with itchy fingers poised over the BUY or SELL buttons of their high speed computer trading platforms. To believe that you can win in this kind of financial Ponzi game environment is simply suicidal!