MF Global “Disgraceful Disconnect”

An unintentional loss of connection to the CME Globex trading engine is called an “ungraceful disconnect.” Your working orders are canceled and your position essentially is frozen. What happened on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 had a similar result, but the cause was a total disgrace — the MF Global bankruptcy filing a “disgraceful disconnect.”

The scene on CME Group’s trading floor morning of Oct. 31 was utter chaos. Every employee and trader from MF Global who hadn’t passed through the turnstiles by 7:30 a.m. found that their key cards were turned off. In addition, their electronic access to the CME’s Globex trading engine had been severed. Every MF Global customer also had been cut off from the Exchange. Bryan Durkin, COO of CME Group, was present on the fourth floor talking to the scores of traders milling around who could not gain entrance to the exchange. The bankruptcy petition of MF Global, filed that morning, came as a shock to everyone and the consequences were devastating.

(This article originally appeared in Futures Magazine on December 19, 2011)
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