La CFTC, la Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a publié un communiqué dans lequel son commissionnaire Scott D. O’Malia, fait le point sur l'affaire MF Global.
Last Thursday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “Commission”) confirmed that our Division of Enforcement is investigating MF Global, Inc. (“MF Global”) for possible violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and/or Commission regulations. I fully support the Commission’s efforts to conduct a thorough investigation to determine what happened with the customer funds, how we can return all customer funds as soon as possible, and punish any wrongdoing.
Segregation of customer funds is fundamental to our markets. The CEA expressly prohibits intermediaries like MF Global from (i) commingling customer and proprietary funds (i.e., house funds) and (ii) using customer funds to support proprietary transactions. It appears that MF Global failed this fundamental responsibility.
While it’s tempting to compare the MF Global proceedings to the Lehman Brothers Inc. (“LBI”) bankruptcy, it is important to keep in mind that MF Global is unique because customer funds are missing from the segregated account. In the LBI bankruptcy, there was no shortfall in the segregated account, which meant that selling the segregated account, with its customer positions and funds, to Barclays was a straightforward process. In contrast, since the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”) placed MF Global into insolvency on October 31st, MF Global customers with positions have received an inadequate percentage of their total funds. Customers that thought it prudent to liquidate their positions prior to the insolvency (the “Cash-Only Customers”) have received none of the funds used to secure their trading at all. The inability of MF Global customers as a whole to access their funds has affected trading in futures markets, and has shaken public confidence in our customer protection regime.
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