Roberts Pushes for MF Global Task Force

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today pushed for a task force to be created to review the findings and develop recommendations from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigation into the MF Global bankruptcy. The request for the task force was sent in a letter this week to CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers.

“While I understand that the CFTC’s investigation into the loss of funds in MF Global customers’ segregated accounts has not been concluded and that a full accounting of lessons learned cannot be undertaken until this investigation is complete, I encourage you to urge the Commission to create this task force,” Roberts stated in the letter. “I appreciate your efforts to date regarding the commission’s effort to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars in segregated customer funds that were missing when MF Global was forced into bankruptcy.”

The letter comes following a December 13, 2011 Senate Agriculture Committee hearing seeking answers for Americans hit hard by the MF Global bankruptcy. During the hearing, Roberts grilled former MF Global CEO, New Jersey Governor and U.S. Senator Jon Corzine on possible scenarios of how his company went bankrupt. During another panel during that same hearing, Roberts asked Commissioner Sommers to create a task force to help identify what happened before and after the bankruptcy and what should be done to help prevent this from happening again.

In the letter, Roberts says Commissioner Sommers should chair the task force and be given the authority to appoint its members consisting of futures experts as well as industry stakeholders. He also requests the task force must finish its recommendations within six months after the investigation is completed.

Complete text of the letter is below:

 

Dear Commissioner Sommers:

 

I write to follow-up with you regarding our discussion at the December 13, 2011 Senate Agriculture Committee hearing pertaining to the establishment of a task force that will examine the results of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigation into events before and after the MF Global bankruptcy and conclusions that may be drawn from those results. As I stated to you at the hearing, I urge the CFTC to pursue the creation of a task force to develop recommendations for policy or regulatory changes, if any, that reasonably are deemed as necessary in the aftermath of MF Global. While I understand that the CFTC’s investigation into the loss of funds in MF Global customers’ segregated accounts has not been concluded and that a full accounting of lessons learned cannot be undertaken until this investigation is complete, I encourage you to urge the Commission to create this task force.

 

This task force is particularly important considering the pre-existing relationship that CFTC Chairman Gensler had with at least one MF Global executive that caused him to ‘step-aside” from all matters relating to the MF Global bankruptcy. Considering this unusual circumstance, my strong recommendation to the Commission would be to give you, as the lead investigator in this matter, the authority to serve as the chair of this group and appoint its members. I might also suggest that this task force consist not only of experts from within the futures industry but also industry stakeholders and those with relevant experience from outside the futures industry.

 

Once you have determined that the CFTC’s investigation into the MF Global bankruptcy has reached a conclusion, I suggest that the task force be urged to issue its recommendations within a six month time-frame.

 

I appreciate your efforts to date regarding the commission’s effort to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars in segregated customer funds that were missing when MF Global was forced into bankruptcy. I look forward to working with the CFTC to explore what lessons might be learned from this unfortunate matter, but more importantly, to ensure that it does not happen again.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Pat Roberts

Ranking Member

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