NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MF Global ( MF) struggles will not bring the financial system to its knees, signaling the benefits of the major derivatives overhaul prompted by the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Shares in the New York-based MF hit new lows below $1 Friday after ratings downgrades by Fitch and Moody's put the company's debt to junk status -- its bonds fell as low as 35 cents on the dollar. The firm's fate may also be in question. The Wall Street Journal reports firms such as Goldman Sachs ( GS), State Street ( STT) and Australia-based Macquarie are circling for a possible fire sale takeover of the commodities broker. But despite the possibility that MF may go under or be gobbled up before the end of this weekend, markets are not in a free fall similar to the panics when Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers faced a similar fate in 2008. That is because although MF operates as a broker in the derivatives markets -- where financial contagion can spread like wildfire -- the firm mostly trades exchange traded derivatives moved through a securities "clearinghouse." Think of the clearinghouse as a financial "green zone," where trading counterparts don't hold each others credit risk on their books and profit and loss are exchanged daily, instead of building over time. It means MF Global's trading counterparties like other large brokers and banks aren't mortally exposed to a bankruptcy filing. That's a big difference from the swaps markets where Lehman operated and where trades are still being resolved in a multi-year bankruptcy process. On its website, MF Global celebrates that it is the leading derivatives trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Comex, it's also one of the three biggest traders on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ( CME), London's IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) and even Australia's Sydney Futures Exchange. Its also one of the 22 dealers authorized to trade new issues of U.S. government securities with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As such, crisis at a $41 billion sized financial player in markets spanning from Chicago, New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo would be expected to draw ripples of fear through global markets -- but it isn't. This week the company's shares have fallen over 60% after reporting a loss of $191.6 million and an exposure to European sovereign debt exceeding $6 billion. Its credit ratings have been cut to junk by Fitch, casting doubt on its ability to trade and also potentially creating liabilities for its biggest lenders, which Bloomberg reports are Bank of America ( BAC) and JPMorgan ( JPM) - both banks have rallied significantly this week on hopes of a resolution to Greek debt and European bank capital issues.