Implications of MF Global Inc. SIPC Proceeding for Counterparties and Market Participants

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On October 31, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) filed for a protective order under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) for MF Global Inc., a company registered jointly as an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered broker and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) registered futures commission merchant (FCM). James W. Giddens, the SIPC trustee for Lehman Brothers Inc. (LBI), was named SIPC trustee for MF Global Inc. and on November 1, 2011, Judge James M. Peck, the bankruptcy judge for the LBI SIPC proceeding, was assigned to the case. This follows the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings of its affiliates, MF Global Holdings Ltd. and MF Global Finance USA Inc. In response to these filings, a number of clearinghouses have announced that they have suspended MF Global Inc.'s membership and have limited the types of trades that they will clear, including MF Global Inc. customer accounts. As described below, the insolvency of MF Global Inc. will have substantial consequences for commodities customers, investment advisers, counterparties in trades involving to-be-announced securities (TBAs), mutual funds, and introducing brokers. We briefly discuss these consequences and suggest next steps for affected market participants below.

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