On October 31, 2011, MF Global, a midsize Chicago-based brokerage and commodities futures trading firm, filed for bankruptcy after a classic run on the bank—in which creditors competed to withdraw their funds at MF Global before other creditors beat them to it. MF Global was the eighth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. For some critics and observers, the timing provided a disheartening sign that the rush of rulemaking after the financial crisis of 2008 was insufficient to prevent a business failure of this nature. Shortly after the filing, it became clear that approximately $1.6 billion of customer assets were missing. In a remarkable turn of events, court-appointed trustees located the vast majority of the customer funds while digging through the labyrinth of transactions that occurred ...

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