(Reuters) - Call it the mother of all margin calls: Up to 50,000 former customers of bankrupt broker MF Global must find some $1 billion in additional collateral almost overnight, or be forced out of their trades.
Come Friday, with the mass transfer of commodity trading accounts from Jon Corzine's fallen firm to six of its erstwhile rivals, margin clerks will be wrapping up a reckoning of how much additional money is needed to cover millions of positions. Clients who can't quickly meet their margin will have to liquidate, making for a tumultuous day's trade.
A court order to move the trades late on Wednesday brought only marginal relief to clients who have been essentially frozen out of their funds and positions since Friday. While accounts will now be transferred more quickly, only 60 percent of the collateral will be moved to the new brokers.
Insight: MF Global clients face day of reckoning as margins call