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Ponzi schemes: Do me a favour

A report appeared in the Chicago Times this week highlighting the apparent rise in the number of Ponzi schemes being uncovered. ‘As prices for everything from oil to stocks to grains have fallen, allegations about Ponzi schemes in the commodity markets are booming. Former commission enforcement director Gregory Mocek said Ponzi schemes involving foreign currency trading have been so rampant they could “eat up all of the commission’s investigation and litigation resources, and there will be nothing left to protect the integrity of legitimate markets.”

I was sent the report by an industry commentator, whose views I normally respect. “The best way to eliminate crime is to compete the flawed market out of business. CME’s Micro FX futures could be part of the solution for attacking the problems in the FX market,” was his take on it.

I disagree profoundly with this view. Many of those working in Chicago appear to believe that the Windy City is the centre of the financial world. True, it has come up with many innovations, some of which, such as financial futures, have been good. The CME is a major player in FX, but to portray it as a semi-saviour of a flawed market is nonsense.

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