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CME Executives Defend Actions Following MF Global Collapse

By Howard Packowitz Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- Leaders of exchange operator CME Group Inc. (CME) said on Wednesday that they acted properly and in accordance with bankruptcy laws following the collapse of brokerage firm MF Global (MFGLQ). "All of the information has yet to come out," said CME Executive Chairman Terry Duffy, responding to questions at CME's annual shareholder meeting. MF Global customers are said to be missing some $1.6 billion that could not be accounted for as the brokerage collapsed. A review by an outside firm of CME's actions "came out fine," said the company's new chief executive, Phupinder Gill, who took over for the retiring Craig Donohue on May 1. Nothing more could have been done to speed up the process or make it go more smoothly, said Gill. He noted that CME's hands were tied by bankruptcy laws. Duffy told shareholders he saw staffers work "around the clock" to place clients with new clearing firms. Duffy said CME's clearing house did its job during the crisis, even though MF Global was considered a "firm of good standing" leading up to its bankruptcy. Earlier, about a dozen people halted the shareholders' meeting for about 15 minutes, demanding the exchange operator return the tax breaks it's receiving as an incentive to keep its headquarters in Illinois. They shouted, "Pay your fair share," as security personnel escorted them out of the room. Outside the building, about 100 protesters assembled, yelling "We are the 99%." -By Howard Packowitz, Dow Jones Newswires; (312) 750-4132; howard.packowitz@dowjones.com

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