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MF Global fires entire workforce

NEW YORK — Defunct trading company MF Global has terminated its entire workforce of 1,066 employees, the trustee for its liquidation said Friday.

James W. Giddens, the court-appointed trustee, said in a statement that the company is dismissing workers in accordance with a bankruptcy court mandate. Between 150 and 200 former employees are being hired to assist with the liquidation and court proceedings.

Meanwhile Friday, a futures exchange that handled trades by MF Global said it will cover as much as $300 million to help speed the release of funds frozen since the firm filed for bankruptcy protection.

CME Group's announcement that it will provide a "financial guarantee" came after Giddens announced the firings.

CME said it was providing the funds to give the trustee "greater latitude" to distribute some of the $4 billion in customer funds.

MF Global is facing a legally complicated liquidation, as regulators say $600 million in client money is missing.

Under the direction of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, MF Global collapsed after making a disastrous bet on European debt. The company traded derivatives contracts whose value was based on the value of an underlying asset, such as interest rates, oil prices or currency rates.

MF Global was one of the biggest players in the derivatives market. Regulators are investigating whether the firm used money from clients' accounts as its own financial condition worsened. That would be a violation of securities rules.

MF Global did not immediately return a call seeking comment. It said in a statement that all of the employees were notified of their termination Friday. The company said it is working to vacate its headquarters in New York as soon as possible and will close the facility. It said it will rent cheaper office space to house the small group of employees working on the liquidation.

MF Global fires entire workforce 11/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 11, 2011 10:03pm]
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