MF Global Files For Bankruptcy Protection31 October, 2011, 22:16. Posted by Zarathustra
As one headhunter once jokingly said to me “when an investment bank (or anything else in the financial sector, really) gets really aggressive in trying to get people, most of the time, they got it wrong”.
Perhaps I was ignorant, perhaps I was stupid, but I honestly haven’t heard much of MF Global (MF.N) until it got a few pretty senior sell-side analysts in Hong Kong covering this market. Before that, MF Global seemed to be unheard of in sell-side research area in Hong Kong/China market (correct me if I am wrong). Fair enough, many other firms were trying to expand the Hong Kong/China research, believing that this is the market that everyone should be in, while the right posturing should have been the exact opposite (i.e. short China). As the headhunter said, investment banks usually got it wrong: they expand when they should be cautious.
Of course, the fall of MF Global should have nothing to do with hiring a few research analysts in Hong Kong. Perhaps it is more about the employment of this man, who subsequently led the firm into taking too much risk. Whatever it is, this is a Lehmanesque downfall (at least it seems so) of a firm of less-than-Lehman sized.
So, R.I.P.. According to Bloomberg, MF Global files for bankruptcy protection.
Here’s the Bankruptcy petition, via Dealbook.