PFGBest- The Movie

While we’re not out of the woods yet, by a long shot, the past two weeks have been the first positive turn of events in the PFGBest saga for quite a bit, with some clients getting a portion of their funds back trading via new accounts at other clearing firms, or sent home via check or wire.

But while 30% to 40% feels a heck of a lot better than 0%, the trustee is still working at recouping a larger percentage of funds for clients.  As the holidays approach this week, we found ourselves batting around unique ways for Mr. Bodenstein to make that number climb to 100%. Some were boring, some were amusing, and some were just out there.

And then there was this: let’s make a movie. After all, as many a client has mentioned to us, not even Hollywood could write the crap we’ve seen here. And really, it’s entirely possible that, one of these days, the bizarre times we’re living in will make it to the silver screen- making producers, directors and actors a whole lot of money. So why not beat them to the punch? We could make a movie based on this disaster, and have all the money it makes go toward making clients whole. Right?

See, we already know the PERFECT producers for something like this- Before the Door Pictures. They were the genius behind Margin Call. We reviewed the film when it first came out (see here), and we still stand behind our assessment that it’s one the best financial dramas we’ve ever seen. If anyone could tell this story, it’s them (whatta ya think, guys?).

But who would play the characters we’re watching on a daily basis? Tough question, to be sure. In fact, it was a point of heated debate for us. Maybe that’s because we’ve got an office full of movie buffs (with a few exceptions who we love to tease for their ignorance). Our thought was that we could sit down with them and try to make the case for a pro bono performance (are you beginning to understand why we laughed this idea off?). In any case, here are our picks and justifications:


Russ Wasendorf, Sr. – Liam Neeson 

This was the hardest guy to cast. One of several villains in our story, Sr. has a unique look to him. Neeson would have to swap the English accent for an Iowa dialect and die his hair blondish… but that nose is a dead ringer. Plus, the way we see it, Neeson, via his past characters, has trained Batman, fought wolves, hunted kidnappers, taught young men to steal hearts and more. We won’t repeat the terms we use to describe Wasendorf Sr. around our office, but if anyone can capture the essence of our colorful language, it’s Neeson.
 
Nancy von Goeben-Paladino – Linda Hamilton
In another twist that seems to be straight out of a Hollywood plot, Wasendorf, Sr. got married 9 days before the fraud came out to one Ms. Paladino. Try as we might to find an image of her that actually shows her entire face, we’ve given up, and instead casted Ms. Hamilton who might be looking for some work…Terminator 10 probably isn’t coming out for some time.
Russ Wassendorf, Jr. – Nathan Fillian
Here was another one that was hard to cast, especially since we have no idea what role he played in all of this nonsense quite yet. Not a day goes by that we don’t get asked if we think he knew. Mal would probably need some hefty makeup here, but his general nature matched up with what we’d need out of this character.
Dan Roth – Chevy Chase
NFA president Roth is one hard man to cast. We thought about using Anthony Hopkins, particularly after seeing new pictures of him come out in makeup for the role of Alfred Hitchcock, but it still wasn’t quite right. Chevy Chase was sort of an accidental discovery, but with some good makeup and a few months of good Italian food, it could work. And there’s something about Chevy’s ability to bumble and stumble his way around while still ending up on top which seems to fit.
NFA Auditors – The Cast of The Hills
Young and about as qualified to be auditing a complex financial firms as the real auditors who looked a PFGBest over the years – a perfect fit.
Gary Gensler – Tony Hale
For the role of CFTC head Gensler, we were most concerned about the eyes. Let’s face it- he’s got weird eyes. We considered Buscemi and a few others, but Tony Hale is so perfect for this that once we thought of him, the debate was over.
Susan O’Meara – Sigourney Weaver
PFGBest Compliance Chief O’Meara didn’t exactly blast the bloodsucking alien Wasendorf into outerspace as Weaver might have, but they could almost be sisters, right?
Brenda Cuypers – Ali Larter
She’s not a dead ringer for PFGBest CFO Cuypers, but Larter is sort of the queen of playing a badass. Just in case we want to throw in some kind of flashy, unrelated gunfight for production value, Larter will be able to step up to the plate, and special effects? We know a guy.
Bob Agnew – Alan Rickman
So, we have no clue what this guy looks like, but we figure we probably can’t tell the story without including him, since Sr. credits him with setting the whole thing in motion by badgering him in his early days to the point where Wasendorf just had to commit fraud to survive. Relying on Sr.’s characterizations, we decided we should go with a guy who can play the jerk, and the young bloods in our office suggested the former Professor Snape of Harry Potter lore would do nicely.
Ira Bodenstein – Edward Norton
Bankruptcy trustee Bodenstein. Has to be Ed Norton. Enough said.
James Koutoulas – Josh Charles
Who in the world do you cast to play the MFGlobal boy wonder? Actually, we probably looked at more people to play Koutoulas than anyone else, and this is as close as we’re gonna get. Koutoulas is just too one of a kind.

The following folks may not be necessary for the movie, but a few others to include if we want to…

Terry Duffy – Christopher Rich
CME chief Duffy’s been pretty silent throughout all of this, but we cast him anyway because we couldn’t pass up pointing out the resemblance.
Ann Barnhardt – Helena Bonham Carter
Really, we just wanted an excuse to cast Helena Bonham Carter. She has a habit of providing magical moments to even the worst of movies (think her role in Sweeny Todd). Picturing her telling investors to arm themselves with long guns and beware the evil nature of Islam has visions of Best Supporting Actress nominations dancing in our heads.

 

So, we have a production company and a cast. No need for a casting director anymore, so we save on costs there. Now, what shall we call it?

  • Photoshoppin’: The Musical (No Tagline needed)
  • PFG: Pilfering, Filthy Goons “They were definitely the “best”- at deceit, that is.”
  • Margin Call 2: Deliberate Miscalculation “It’s the regulators who missed the risk this time.”
  • Too Big to Fail: The Wasendorf Ego  “Unwieldy, unyielding and unbelievable.”
  • Trading Faces “The Duke brothers got nothing on him.”

Alright, alright- we’re done now. Hopefully it made a few of you who are just as frustrated as us with all of this smile for a minute. We’re back to fighting the good fight now- just remember you’ve got someone in your corner.

One comment

  1. […] PFGBest the "movie". googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1322710633957-1'); }); Attain Capital blog on who would star amongst the culprits in a "PFGBest the movie". PFGBest- The Movie | Attain Capital Managed Futures Blog […]

Write a Comment

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

logo