MBF’s Mark Fisher Defends Against CFTC Lawsuit
The head of MBF Clearing defended the company Wednesday against a complaint by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, saying customer funds were never in danger.
“What we have here is a bookkeeping error,” CEO Mark Fisher said on “Fast Money.” “And the reason why I came on was because I was concerned about a mischaracterization or perception issue where people thought this was anything like MF Global.”
In its complaint, the CFTC alleges that MBF held “unsegregated funds” that comingled tens of millions of dollars between 2008 and 2010.
Fisher defended the futures clearing company.
“During the financial crisis, we decided at MBF to move money out of money market funds — including the reserve fund, which broke the buck — and move it to the safest bank in the world, JPMorgan, in the safest instrument available, U.S. government bonds, and that’s where we kept all this customer money,” he said.
JPMorgan was not named in the complaint.
Fisher said he believed MBF had adequately protected customer funds.
“At the height of the Lehman Brothers financial crisis, we were more concerned about making sure that our money was at the right place, and I guess we didn’t read the prospectus closely enough,” he said.
Fisher did not specify what course of action MBF Clearing would take, and also avoided taking a direct shot at JPMorgan.
“I don’t want to say who I hold responsible, but I think that over time we’ll see how it pans out,” he said.
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