The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Stabenow, Roberts introduce MF Global resolution

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., today introduced a resolution opposing bonuses for 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 for the firm’s customers, including thousands of farmers, ranchers who had money that was supposed to be in safe, segregated accounts.

According to news reports, Louis Freeh, the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of MF Global Holding Ltd., may submit a plan in the coming weeks asking a bankruptcy judge to pay bonuses to top MF Global executives.

“It’s absolutely outrageous to suggest that bonuses should be paid to the same people who were in charge when the company went bankrupt and lost its customers’ money,” said Stabenow. “This was a terrible failure of leadership. The people in charge should be held accountable, not rewarded with bonuses.”

“This is not your ordinary Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” Roberts said. “The process to return customer funds to their rightful owners will take years. This unprecedented loss of segregated customer funds may well have occurred at the direction of MF Global officials. Any recovered funds should go to customers instead of winding up in the hands of those who mismanaged the funds in the first place.”

On March 15, Stabenow, Roberts and all the other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee sent Freeh a letter urging him to drop any proposal to award bonuses to top executives.

Freeh responded on March 16 and declined to commit to the committee’s request, Stabenow and Roberts said in a joint news release.