MF Global's former chief executive, Jon Corzine, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Investigators have said that Corzine's firm appears to have dipped into customer funds as it desperately tried to cope with a liquidity crisis brought on by a credit downgrade following revelations of heavy bets on European sovereign debt.
Futures brokers next week face yet another potential squeeze: new federal regulations that will result in more customer money being held at clearinghouses like CME and not at futures brokerages.
Proponents say the new rules will reduce the possibility of customer losses in a brokerage default, if only because the brokerages will have less customer money to begin with.
Critics say that they will mean less flexibility for futures brokerages already hurt by low interest rates and a 13 percent decline in customer funds in the last 12 months
"Maybe that's the trigger that puts them over the edge," Koutoulas said.
As Hunt buys and sells in the arcane and risky world of grain options, he points to a red button glued to his yellow trading badge, printed with the word "panic."
Still glossy, he says. Never used. When the risk in the options trade gets too much, he caps that risk using futures contracts.
But his nest egg, the $17.5 million lodged with his brokerage to back his trades?
"I don't know any way to manage my clearinghouse risk," he says.