U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), the Committee’s Ranking Member, today applauded MF Global Trustee Louis Freeh for heeding their call to drop any possible plan to pay bonuses to MF Global executives. MF Global's bankruptcy last year, the eighth largest in U.S. history, resulted in a loss of as much as $1.6 billion of the firm's customer’s money. Thousands of farmers, ranchers and small business owners are still owed tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“It would have been absolutely outrageous if bonuses were paid to the very people who were in charge as MF Global went bankrupt and lost its customers' money,” Stabenow said. “Families across the country who had accounts with MF Global are still waiting to get their money back. I am glad Mr. Freeh has agreed that the people in charge should be held accountable, not rewarded with bonuses.”
“Victims of the MF Global collapse still waiting on their own money to be returned can rest assured that at least the executives that may have put them in this position will not be rewarded for the mess they created,” Roberts said.
On March 15, following news reports of possible requests for bonuses for MF Global executives, Senators Stabenow and Roberts sent a bipartisan letter to Mr. Freeh, signed by all of their colleagues on the Agriculture Committee, urging him to drop any proposal to award bonuses to top executives. Mr. Freeh responded on March 16 and declined to commit to the Committee's request.
Senator Stabenow and Roberts then cosponsored a bipartisan resolution opposing the bonuses. That resolution passed the Senate unanimously on March 27.
Last December, Senators Stabenow and Roberts convened a hearing to investigate the collapse of MF Global, where top executives testified and indicated that they didn't know where customer money had gone. Two of those very executives were among those who may have received bonuses.