Tester: No bonuses for MF Global execs
By TOM LUTEY [email protected] The Billings Gazette | Posted: Monday, March 12, 2012 11:53 am | (6) Comments
...U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is blasting plans to award bonuses to executives of failed commodities broker MF Global, a firm accused of siphoning more than $1.6 billion from Montana farmers and other customers.
In a letter to bankruptcy trustee and former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Tester called the possibility that Freeh would award bonuses to more than 20 MF Global employees unacceptable. The largest bonuses would be six figures. Freeh is expected to ask a bankruptcy court to approve performance-related bonuses for employees who stayed on to help unwind the company after MF’s late October bankruptcy.
MF Global’s $41 billion collapse, triggered by bad investments in European sovereign debt, locked 38,000 segregated commodities accounts belonging to farmers and agriculture businesses that traded futures through the company. Federal officials have been unable to find an estimated $1.6 billion in missing money from those accounts, which appear to have been raided. Farmers so far have been assured a return of 72 cents for every dollar lost.
Tester said any money eyed for bonuses should be going to the victims of MF Global’s failure. He also called on the Senate Banking Committee to examine the practices leading to MF Global’s collapse. He called on the Justice Department to perform a comprehensive investigation. Joining Tester, was Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who said bonuses shouldn’t come before all criminal and civil accusations against MF Global are settled and the $1.6 billion missing from customer accounts is recovered.