$400m's gotta hurt - but not much!
JPMorgan Chase manipulated power markets in California and the Midwest, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission claimed in a proceeding that sets up a settlement to be announced as early as Tuesday.
Bloomberg News reports that a JPMorgan trading unit gamed wholesale electricity markets from September 2010 to June 2011, leading to overpayment of 'tens of millions of dollars at rates far above market prices' in California alone, FERC staff said in a Notice of Alleged Violations Monday.
The bank and its chief energy-market regulator have agreed to settle the matter with sanctions that include a fine of about $400m, according to a person familiar with the case who asked not to be identified because the terms aren’t yet public.
'JPMorgan picked the pockets of California households and businesses, and their manipulation increased the electric bills that people pay', said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group.
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image: © Lisamarie Babik