Individual clients of bankrupt commodities brokerage MF Global can take some cold comfort in the news that big corporations also got their pockets picked. Major corporations that used futures to hedge commodity prices through MF Global comprised a fifth of the client funds that “vaporized.” The good news is that these players have the deep pockets for class action lawsuits and the political pull to ensure regulators don’t sweep this under the rug.
I actually once considered opening a futures account with Refco, MF Global’s predecessor firm, years before it collapsed. I decided against it mainly because I’m not some heavy commodity user who really needs a hedge. There are plenty of ETFs in oil, metals, and agriculture to satisfy the diversification needs of most normal investors.
Trust is in short supply. Even big companies can’t trust their brokerages anymore. I hope these Fortune 500 victims get together and strategize some lawfare that will bury the MF Global malefactors in a big pile of . . . well, you can insert a fanciful agricultural commodity here.