A lucky escape ?
Even as the top U.S. energy regulator is poised to extract a record settlement from JPMorgan Chase over accusations that it manipulated power markets, the agency is expected to spare a top bank lieutenant who federal investigators initially contended made 'false and misleading statements under oath', according to people briefed on the matter.
The New York Times reports that Blythe Masters, a seminal Wall Street figure who is known for developing exotic financial instruments, emerged this spring at the center of an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission into accusations of illegal trading in the California and Michigan electricity markets.
The regulator found that JPMorgan designed trading 'schemes' that converted “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” a commission document said.
While the commission and JPMorgan are negotiating a settlement for about $500m, the people briefed on the matter said, Ms. Masters is not expected to face a separate action. The move signals a pivot for the agency, which has been increasingly flexing its enforcement muscle, according to the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition they not be named.
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