JPMorgan's Masters joins regulator advisory committee
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[February 07, 2014]
By Douwe Miedema
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Blythe Masters,
who heads JPMorgan's <JPM.N> commodity business, has joined a
committee advising the U.S. derivatives regulator, the agency said
on Thursday, a move that comes as Masters' bank is shedding part of
its physical commodity operations.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Thursday voted on
the new composition of its Global Markets Advisory Committee, a
group of market participants that meets regularly to discuss a broad
range of issues.
Over the past five years, Masters built the biggest physical
commodity trading operation on Wall Street at JPMorgan, surpassing
in size long-time giants Goldman Sachs <GS.N> and Morgan Stanley <MS.N>.
But the bank decided to sell its multi-billion dollar physical
commodities division last year under rising political pressure over
banks' role in the market, raising questions as to the future of
Masters at the bank.
JPMorgan was not immediately available for comment.
The advisory committee consists of a large group of senior officials
at large investment banks, asset managers, firms running trading
platforms and industry bodies and is sponsored by Mark Wetjen, the
CFTC's acting chairman.
The committee will meet next week to discuss the CFTC's
controversial cross-border rules, which lay out how foreign
companies need to comply with U.S. rules when dealing with U.S.
clients, or doing business from U.S. offices.
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The rules have riled regulators abroad, who want greater reliance on
their own rules, and Wall Street banks last month sued the agency in
the hope to beat back the CFTC's expanded scope of power to regulate
Since then, the CFTC has given the public time to comment on a
November 14 memo that was at the heart of a lawsuit, and which will
also come up at the meeting next week.
Last year, JPMorgan paid $410 million to settle allegations of power
market manipulation in California to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Separately, the CFTC is probing metals trading — which is dominated
by large banks including JPMorgan — and has subpoenaed a metals
warehousing firm as part of that probe, Reuters reported last year.
(Reporting by Douwe Miedema; editing by
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