Andrew Abraham

andy-0101 My name in Andrew Abraham. I have been investing in commodities and managed futures since 1994. I adhere to the philosophy of trend following. Trend following stresses a disciplined approach to commodity/ futures trading. Successful trend following and commodity futures investing requires patience, discipline and actively managing the risk. What sets me apart from other traders is that I am not only concerned about the return on investment but how much risk I will have to tolerate to achieve my goals.

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MF Global Clients Go After JP Morgan

Go James…

Koutoulas says he’s extending an “open invitation” to the head of the country’s biggest bank to meet with him, and he wants Dimon to tell him face-to-face why JP Morgan should get paid before farmers and other individual futures customers who are out money.

From Forbes

MF Global Customers Target JP Morgan

James Koutoulas, the lawyer and futures trader who is representing MF Global customers in bankruptcy court, has a message for JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon: explain yourself. Koutoulas says he’s extending an “open invitation” to the head of the country’s biggest bank to meet with him, and he wants Dimon to tell him face-to-face why JP Morgan should get paid before farmers and other individual futures customers who are out money.

“No-one ever stands up to JP Morgan,” says Koutoulas, who seems out to change that. “They had a $2.75 trillion bailout from the Fed. Now they’re trying to get another bailout in this MF Global case over farmers who can’t buy seed and a single mom who can’t pay the mortgage? These guys have no shame and they’re now my sworn enemy.”

Corzine Gets Served Outside Capitol Hill Hearing
Steve Schaefer
Forbes Staff

CME Chief Suggests Corzine Knew MF Global Dipped Into Customer Money
Steve Schaefer
Forbes Staff
A JP Morgan spokeswoman said the company had no comment.

MF Global declared bankruptcy on Oct. 31, and its chief Jon Corzine resigned a few days later amid news of a shortfall in funds, a shortfall later estimated to be $1.2 billion

The bankruptcy left many parties owed money, and the question in court is who gets paid first out of MF Global assets. Customers had money in “segregated” accounts that were supposed to be completely safe. JP Morgan, meanwhile, held MF Global Holdings bonds. Customers have been promised 72% of their money, a fact that makes Koutoulas proud. But he says that JP Morgan, which fought the distribution of the 72%, is standing in the way of the rest.

Customers come first when it comes to money that can be traced back to their accounts. But the law is less clear about who has priority when it comes to funds that can’t be traced back. Customers say they should have priority even in that case. CME Group Chairman Terry Duffy supported that position when addressing a Senate committee investigating MF Global.

But JP Morgan and the creditors’ committee are highly likely to challenge that notion, says Frederick Grede, bankruptcy trustee in the case of Sentinel Management, a brokerage firm that went bust in August 2007. JP Morgan has a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders and to other MF Global bondholders.

So Koutoulas is playing offense. He and his organization, the Commodity Customer Coalition, are striking at JP Morgan’s banking business. The CCC has reached out to many of the independent futures commission merchants that use JP Morgan as a custodian for their customers’ funds. Koutoulas wants the merchants to pull their customer business from JP Morgan unless the bank publicly agrees the court should give MF Global customers priority until they’re made whole. Koutoulas says that he has talked to several FCMs and that they’re receptive to the idea. “My point’s simple, why does any FCM want to do business with a custodian who doesn’t care about protecting their customers?” he says.

Koutoulas is feeling emboldened because recent news related to the case hurt JP Morgan’s stock price. A CCC member asked that the trustee probe all payments made to JP Morgan in MF Global’s final days. When Bloomberg reported that the bankruptcy trustee planned such a probe, the JP Morgan’s stock took a $3 billion hit.

Koutoulas also has a past experience that has given him some preparation for this fight. At 18, as a high schooler in Florida, he was sitting at a stoplight when another driver hit him at 60 miles an hour. His car was totaled, but Koutoulas, now 30, survived and has largely recovered after years in physical therapy. “Look, people have traumas all the time,” he says. “It defines who you are as a person how you respond to them… I don’t run away.”

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