MF Global Client Theft Estimate Doubled To $1.5 Billion?

Even as we hear rumblings that the MF fire is spreading, and the associated auditor of the now infamous former Primary Dealer is about to get in serious hot water, the bankrupt company itself continues to dig itself an ever deeper grave. Because according to a just filed motion by the MF Global liquidating trustee, it seems that the gross criminal activity by the company may have been orders of magnitude bigger than anyone has expected. To wit: "As a result of the apparent segregation violations and the suspension of clearing privileges, more than 150,000 customer accounts essentially were frozen on October 31, 2011, of which more than 50,000 accounts were regulated commodities customer accounts. The CME estimates that MFGI’s current segregated funds requirement is approximately $5.45 billion. Moreover, the total amount of MFGI customer segregated funds on deposit at the CME is approximately $2.5 billion, and the clearing-level segregated collateral is approximately $1.5 billion or approximately 60 percent of the MFGI customer segregated funds on deposit at the CME." Doing some quick inverse addition and we get a (w)hole of $5.45 less $2.5 less $1.5 or $1.45 billion. In other words, the theft by MF Global was not stealing hunderds of millions form its customers: it has stolen a whopping $1.5 billion! For those confused, this is not a rogue loss of $1.5 billion, something which was enough to send UBS' Kweku to prison. This is outright theft resulting from illegally commingled accounts. Our only question is will $1.5 billion in theft be enough for the first real perp walk of an Obama-friendly Wall Street executive?

And here is Reuters with a revised lowball. Remember this number was supposed to be zero earlier today. 

MF Global had a $633 million shortfall in its customer segregated funds as of Nov. 1, according to an estimate the CME Group provided to the U.S. futures regulator.


That amounted to an 11.6 percent deficiency.


In the letter dated Nov. 2, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said the CME has identified futures commission merchants (FCMs) willing to accept transfer of MF Global customer segregated account positions of retail and institutional customers.


The futures regulator also said that CME anticipates that MF Global customer segregated account positions will be transferred to two or more of five identified clearing members.


MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, is the biggest U.S. casualty of Europe's debt crisis, and the seventh-largest bankruptcy by assets in U.S. history.

When all is said and done, the shortfall will be well over a billion.

h/t Doug