Agricultural/Financial correspondent
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Nov 28, 2011

Exclusive: Regulators doubt MF Global shortfall estimate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are privately questioning a bankruptcy trustee’s estimate that puts the shortfall in MF Global Holdings’ customer funds at around $1.2 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The source said regulators believe at least $220 million is being double-counted by the trustee, taking the total shortfall at the brokerage to just under $1 billion.

Nov 28, 2011

U.S. regulators doubt MF Global shortfall estimate

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are
privately questioning a bankruptcy trustee’s estimate that puts
the shortfall in MF Global Holdings’ customer funds at around
$1.2 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on
Monday.

The source said regulators believe at least $220 million is
being double-counted by the trustee, taking the total shortfall
at the brokerage to just under $1 billion.

Nov 18, 2011

Congress denies CFTC budget boost as workload looms

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Congressional lawmakers
refused to give the U.S. futures regulator the big budget boost
that the White House had requested, limiting the agency’s
resources as it puts in place financial reforms and
investigates bankrupt brokerage MF Global.

Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Thursday
agreed to set the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s
budget for fiscal 2012 at $205 million – $103 million less than
what was requested by the Obama administration.

Nov 17, 2011

MF Global may return funds

By Nick Brown and Christopher Doering

(Reuters) – Thousands of former MF Global Holdings customers may recover $520 million of cash held in their accounts by early next week, even as the bankrupt brokerage lays off more workers.

In other developments on Wednesday, a U.S. futures regulator called for robust oversight to limit the potential for another collapse, while authorities appeared no closer to finding hundreds of millions of dollars in missing MF Global customer money.

Nov 17, 2011

MF Global may return funds, cuts more jobs

By Nick Brown and Christopher Doering

(Reuters) – Thousands of former MF Global Holdings Ltd MFGLQ.PK customers may recover $520 million of cash held in their accounts by early next week, even as the bankrupt brokerage lays off more workers.

In other developments on Wednesday, a U.S. futures regulator called for robust oversight to limit the potential for another collapse, while authorities appeared no closer to finding hundreds of millions of dollars in missing MF Global customer money.

Nov 16, 2011

MF Global may return funds, CFTC urges vigilance

Nov 16 (Reuters) Thousands of former MF Global Holdings
Ltd customers may soon recover $520 million of cash
held in their accounts at the bankrupt brokerage, and a U.S.
futures regulator called for robust oversight to limit the
potential for another collapse.

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday will consider a request by
James Giddens, the trustee supervising the liquidation of the
MF Global Inc broker-dealer unit, to release $520 million to
between 15,000 and 21,000 commodities customers who held only
cash in their accounts.

Nov 16, 2011

CFTC official seeks more protection of customer accounts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. futures regulator on Wednesday pushed for immediate action to bolster protection of customer funds in order to restore confidence in the futures brokerage industry in the wake of the collapse of MF Global.

Scott O’Malia, a commissioner at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, backed a requirement that intermediaries like MF Global (MFGLQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) should hire a third party, such as an independent reviewer, to make sure customers funds are kept separate from the firm’s own money.

Nov 15, 2011

Senator presses CFTC on MF Global mess, seeks hearing

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Congress increased pressure
on the U.S. futures regulator to sort through the mess left
behind by the collapse of brokerage MF Global , and
called for a hearing to examine whether proper market oversight
is in place.

Senator Debbie Stabenow, the chairwoman of the Senate
Agriculture Committee, said the bankruptcy of MF Global and the
missing $600 million of customer funds raises questions about
the dangers of excessive leverage and the adequacy of existing
protections.

Nov 11, 2011

MF Global fund frustration grows, CFTC confirms probe

By Nick Brown and Christopher Doering

(Reuters) – IntercontinentalExchange Inc on Thursday added its voice to an anguished chorus of commodity traders calling for MF Global’s bankruptcy court to release billions of dollars in cash frozen in their accounts.

Unable to say when the search for some $600 million of missing customer funds might conclude, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF’s brokerage moved to deflect mounting pressure to give back more of that collateral, saying he could not yet legally release individuals’ funds.

Nov 10, 2011

ICE calls for MF client cash; CFTC confirms probe

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The trustee liquidating bankrupt broker MF Global on Thursday deflected intensifying pressure to disperse billions of dollars of customer cash frozen in commodity accounts, saying that he could not yet legally release individuals’ funds.

As traders, exchanges and lawyers sought to untangle accounts, the U.S. futures regulator confirmed it had begun a probe into the collapse of the brokerage once run by Jon Corzine, a Wall Street legend and former New Jersey governor whose bad bets on European debt triggered a crisis of confidence in one of the most active commodity brokers in the world.

    • About Christopher

      "Currently based in Washington, Christopher reports on agriculture in Congress and the U.S. Agriculture Department. He also is actively involved in covering regulatory reform, with a focus on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
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