From the Naked Capitalism blog:
We’ve been loath to comment on a Thomson Reuters article that claimed that rehypothecation of assets in customer accounts was the reason MF Global customer funds went missing. The reason we’ve stayed away from this debate is that the article, despite its length, did not provide any substantiation for its claim. While it did contend that US customer accounts were set up so as to allow assets to be rehypothecated using far more permissive UK rules, and described how rehypothecation could be abused, it did not provide any proof that this was what took place at MF Global. Note that this does NOT mean we are saying that rehypothecation did not play a role, merely that the article was speculative.
The bombshell testimony of CME chief Terry Duffy yesterday, that a CME auditor heard an MF Global employee say that “Mr Corzine was aware of the loans being made from segregated [customer] accounts,” suggests that some of the money went missing via much more straightforward means, namely, taking it and hoping to be able to give it back if the firm survived.
Related previous post: MF Global and the great Wall St re-hypothecation scandal