The holding company MF Global, run by former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs co-chairman Jon Corzine, has gone bust following bad bets on European sovereign debt. Discussions over the weekend were held to attempt to sell the firm to avert failure but these did not prove fruitful and the firm’s trading with the New York Federal Reserve was suspended today, ending its existence as a financial concern. It listed debts totaling $39.7 billion with $41 billion in assets. Broker dealers are typically required to sell off assets in the event of bankruptcy, like Bear Stearns and the Lehman Brothers did when they went bust. Liquidation of securities firms is overseen by the Securities Investors Protection Corporation which insures equitable selling of the assets and protects investors for up to $500,000 in losses in much the same way the FDIC does for retail bank account holders.

[Bloomberg]