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EU Meltdown Takes Down Global MF

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and ICE Futures Canada said Oct. 31 that customers of broker-dealer MF Global were limited to liquidating their positions.

The exchange, which owns the Chicago Board of Trade, said it would no longer recognize MF Global, which filed for Chapter 11 as a guarantor for floor trading.

The company filed for bankruptcy protect ion after a tentative deal with a buyer fell apart, marking a stunning failure for CEO Jon Corzine who tried to turn the more than 200-year-old futures brokerage into a mini-Goldman Sachs.

The meltdown made MF Global the biggest U.S. casualty of the European debt crisis, as the brokerage paid the price for the former Goldman CEO s big, risky bets on sovereign debt.

The bankruptcy, the seventh largest by assets in U.S. history, is reminiscent of 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. But market participants said the impact from this collapse, far smaller, would likely be contained.

There was little evidence of any severe ruptures in commodity markets.

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