Monday, January 23, 2012

MF Global - I've FOIA'd the CFTC

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to divulge internal documents under a wide range of circumstances. It is a great law.

Many of us MF Global customers have been wondering about the strange decision made by the CFTC and SEC in the early morning hours of Oct 31, 2011 to liquidate MF Global Inc under the SIPA law, rather than the ordinary bankruptcy code. (CFTC calls it "SIPC-led", but this means in accordance with the SIPA law.) Many MF Global customers believe this was the moment we were "thrown under the bus".

There's been a lot of speculation. Recently several blogs have claimed that there were secret meetings, and undue influence from a certain large bank. Could be. I dunno.

I decided to simply ask the CFTC how this decision was made. In this case "ask" means to invoke FOIA. Lets see if this works.

If any of you would like to do something similar, feel free to copy & paste!


FOIA Compliance Office
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Three Lafayette Centre
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581

January 23, 2012

FOIA Compliance Officer:

Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC Section 552, I am requesting information or records regarding the CFTC’s choice of a SIPC-led liquidation as the appropriate mechanism to liquidate MF Global.

Background: On October 31, 2011, CFTC issued a statement regarding MF Global (attached) which says:

“The SEC and CFTC have determined that a SIPC-led bankruptcy proceeding would be the safest and most prudent course of action to protect customer accounts and assets.”

The issue is quite simply: How was that determination made?

I request all correspondence, email, written memos, meeting minutes, conference call notes, conference call recordings, conference call transcripts, powerpoint, or other documents which influenced the determination quoted above, or document the process. The timeframe searched should be October 30 thru October 31, 2011. This search should include discussion of pros or cons of any liquidation approach, risks, staff recommendations, legal requirements, etc. SIPC (SIPA) vs 11 USC chapter 7, etc. The search should include contacts with the White House, SEC, and agents of MF Global or JP Morgan or any other entities.

I agree to pay any search, review, or copying fees that may be incurred in processing this request up to $350. I believe I am most likely in the “other requester” category.

If you have any questions, please email me at .


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