The Inside Story Of What Brought Down MF Global

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that the affdavit of MF Global COO Bradley Abelow has been filed, we finally get the (partial and quite watered down) inside scoop of just what the events were that brought the company to its knees, and what specifically were the precipitating catalysts that ultimately led to the Halloween massacre. The relevant part begins with section E, paragraph 33, on page 13. "As a global financial services firm, MF Global is materially affected by conditions in the global financial markets and worldwide economic conditions. On September 1, 2011, MF Holdings announced that FINRA informed it that its regulated U.S. operating subsidiary, MFGI, was required to modify its capital treatment of certain repurchase transactions to maturity collateralized with European sovereign debt and thus increase its required net capital pursuant to SEC Rule 15c3-1. MFGI increased its required net capital to comply with FINRA’s requirement...." Read on.

Full affidavit (pdf)


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Goldtoothchimp09's picture

shame on every manager and exec who didn't go to regulators when commingling of client money began

junkyardjack's picture

"While the Company explored a number of strategic alternatives with respect to MFGI, no viable alternative was available in the limited time leading up to the regulators’ deadline. "  


It should have read, "While the Company explored a number of strategic alternatives with respect to MFGI, including stealing client money, no viable..."

paarsons's picture

Corzine won't go to jail.

He's part of the club.

Fucking shame.


I think I need to buy a gun's picture

i really curious about him joining mf global now. Hes a fuckin millionaire 50X over he didn't need this shitstorm. He is part of the club I don't buy he was trying to revitalize his career i think this was an intentional appointment i'll figure out why soon enough

flacon's picture

So let me get this straight: Mark-to-market killed the MF Global?  Guess the aliens didn't show up in time to allow them to perpetuate Mark-To-Fantasy.... 





Why the FU#K aren't you happy, you ungrateful little swine. We, your governmnent, fed you and clothed you, and yet you do not appreciate what you have been given. Time to MARK-TO-REALITY and then you will not have any pictures to eat! 

quintago's picture

You MFers don't seem to get it. MF = Refco. IPO to BK in 6 months. Took a while longer this time, but same type of crooks back at it again.

mccoyspace's picture

According to Wikipedia, after it went bust Refco was purchased by Man Financial -- the company that later spun off MF Global....

AldousHuxley's picture

they probably had ex-GS alum use his political connections from NJ to throw state pension funds at MF Global.


Corzine made money despite his failure anyway so it was a win-win deal for him.If he loses, he takes $12M, if he wins he can grow MF Global to challenge Goldman Sachs and prove nemesis Hank Paulson wrong.


But in the end Goldman Sachs and Hank Paulson wins over Corzine.


Sorry but MF Global is not big enough not to fail.


OWS should celebrate this return of capitalism.

disabledvet's picture

i see perp walks on this one. Corzine himself is a possibility. We need "late night hour with Aldus Huxley." It's time to start "plumbing the depths."

drivenZ's picture

when you have that much $$ already, whatever you do is no longer about the $$ its about power. Corzine basically got kicked out of GS, lost out in politics, and decided to jump in bed with his friend JC flowers to try to build a new empire for himself. He was most certainly looking for some redemption.

disabledvet's picture

who is this JC Flowers?

quintago's picture

He's only the greatest banking super hero to ever live

BanksterSlayer's picture

you might find the answer you seek in this scathing blog posted at Turd Ferguson's sie:


24KGOLD FOIL HAT's picture

I think @ 23:17

Hows this for a theory-

Corzine joins MF a year ago, it goes from a stodgy broker to a 40-1 leverage gambler, what a coinkydink.  I wonder who had the other side of his 6 Bil eurobond bets?  Could it be Gold-inmy-sacks?  As a smokescreen he did all th fancy footwork/logical hedging/short Frenchie bonds.

Why did AIG do 200 Bil of stupid insurance?  Did someone infiltrate their City operation?  Who had the other side of that stuff?

A gang chooses its mark, infiltrates, loots and vanishes.  The club pulled off the biggest one in history...and its still operating!

In the end, Corzine says he didnt see it a comin.  Holder agrees, so does sec, cftc, finra, snp. moodys, etc,

EasterBunny's picture

That's an interesting point 24k. GS etc could have benefitted mightily from a large buyer of euro debt when they needed to dump the stuff.

The scenario might go something like this:


1.      Banksters club decides which company should be sacrificed

2.      Sell all their euro crap to said willing buyer

3.      Watch said company go bang,

4.      Walk away

24KGOLD FOIL HAT's picture

Like they sing while marching in boot camp:  I dont know but I been told...

The plan is to have 3 megabanks left standing in the US.  So.... JPM, GS and the third anointed one, C.  C is a basket case.  It only exists to aid the cia in the 200 countries its in. 

Since BofA is from San Fran and now in NC; Wells Fargo is west coast...they will vanish by the hand of the NYC crew.

MS?  Why dont they meld with JPM. 

Theres the 3!

evo's picture

Is that the mighty Easter Bunny of Sanity Check fame?

It's funny that the shutdown of Deep Capture doesn't get much attention on Zero Hedge.

Quinvarius's picture

That is a pretty sensible theory.  I am sure they had concurrent scams going knowing they would kill MF global in the process of looting it.  They likely had a roadmap of the shitstorm they were planning and how to profit from it a multitude of ways both financially and politically.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Did a Bilderberger ever go to jail?

Ferretous's picture

Conrad Black ... I would love to know the real reason ...

oddjob's picture

Alana Black is a goddess.

Unprepared's picture

If only MILF Global had an FDIC-insured depository base, it could have used it as a first defense line against first losses, no commingling has been discovered, and ... talking about which I think I need to pay a visit to a certain bank to withdraw a remaining balance of few FBN-electronic equivalent monies.

Careless Whisper's picture

The relevant part begins with section E, paragraph 33, on page 13.

No, not really. The relevant part is in the very last paragraph: 

...the Debtors’ immediate objective is to maintain a business-as-usual atmosphere during the pendency of these chapter 11 cases, with as little interruption or disruption to the Debtors’ operations as possible.


Blorf's picture

Loot up boys!  It's business as usual!

Seriously, what is the point of doing chapter 11 here?  No one is going to have money at this brokerage BECAUSE THE COMPANY IS KNOWN TO STEAL IT.  Not in the usual wall street way where they "invest" your money in shit the brokerage wants to unload, but by actually stuffing your money in burlap sacks and running off with it.

May as well send it to chapter 7 and start selling off the furniture.  There is no recovering from this, even the brand name is worthless now, although they could staple it onto a TBTF bank for comedy sake:

Bank of MF Global Lynchings of America Countrywide



Ponzi Unit's picture

Give em a chance to get it right . Wire them all your accounts.

disabledvet's picture

i thought they were de-listed? now they're trying to claim "they're still trading." playing the demise of your career in the media now? "we're still working...we're just not doing anything right now"?

Zone1's picture

Actually it should read, "While the Company explored a number of strategic alternatives with respect to MFGI, all other parties were not stupid enough not to ask questions about a $1b short fall in clients' portfolios."

OTC_Options's picture

Not applicable. But thank you for playing our game.

westboundnup's picture

Greed, I'm guessing.

UP Forester's picture

I'm guessing the unicorn ran out of skittles....

disabledvet's picture

and the money's missing. "but we promise to put it back."

Zero Govt's picture

so it was a regulatory rule change that sucked MF dry

the same regulatory rule change that sucked $millions out of AIG and into Goldman Sucks pockets

now who has the Regulators and Exchanges in their pockets?

Answers on a Postcard to: Charity 4 Criminals Campaign, The Fleecing Dept, Blankfein & Dimon Inc Corp., Regulatory Capture Street, Washington Bum-Chum Club, Postcode: ASS-010-FUK

OldTrooper's picture

so it was a regulatory rule change that sucked MF dry

Loosing a hundred million a quarter (or more) probably didn't help much either.

Zero Govt's picture

but would MF have lost $100m a quarter if, as General Jim Sinclair suggests, their hedges (CDS's) had paid out?

there's another Regulatory 'capture' rule change.. the Bonds weren't deemed in default (when they clearly were) 

knukles's picture

Nobody's bonds be in default.  Yet.

monkeyshine's picture

Maybe we can buy the Greek CDS out of bankruptcy for 1/1000th of face, then sue everyone and settle for 1/10th of face, or just wait them out and get 50% of face?


disabledvet's picture

Lloyds of London looking wobbly. How's BofA doing?

OldTrooper's picture

Who knows.  According to the affidavit they lost 200 million +/- when the regulatory change happened in September 2011, but they lost 94 million (and change) the same quarter the previous year.  Doesn't it seem like these MFers have been bleeding for some time?  My gut tells me that regulatory changes, bond defaults, etc. were only the final nail in a coffin MF had been working on for some time.  It will be interesting when some of the people that really know this stuff dig around and find out what was going on, that's for sure.

gramps's picture

I think the rule change performed bass to mouth as opposed to sucking them dry.

JLee2027's picture

We had a bad quarter and it's all Europe's fault.

Excuses, excuses. How come Corozine didn't sign this? Is the COO the fall guy now?

Zero Govt's picture

Caustic was bizzy with his signing hand, new employment contract as Head of the US Treasury's just one 'Winner' after another at Treasury

CClarity's picture

It was the weather, I mean volcano, I mean regulations, I mean . . . greed.

DeadFred's picture

It's good to know we can start blaming the snow again.

Silver Bully's picture

Oh it wasn't snow. A radioactive butterfly flapped its wings near Fukushima and a counterparty in New York goes bankrupt. Now if a polar bear farts at the north pole, then Greece should default right?