Banks *still* behaving badly

Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — the independent agency responsible for  assisting consumers in “obtaining reliable, efficient and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means” — released a notice on the allegations against a J.P. Morgan Chase affiliate. JPMC has been accused by  federal energy regulators, after a investigation that began approximately one year ago, of using “eight manipulative bidding strategies” to garner what the regulators deem to be “excessive payments” from electricity markets. In a nutshell, that’s market manipulation. It’s fraudulent.

The FERC “notice of alleged violations” disclosures preceded the settlement between JPMC and FERC, which is a $410 million fine to settle the charges. According to Business Insider, “under the agreement, JPMVEC will pay a civil penalty of $285 million to the U.S. Treasury and disgorge $125 million in unjust profits. The first $124 million of the disgorged profits will go to ratepayers in the California Independent System Operator (California ISO), which operates the California electricity market. The other $1 million will go to ratepayers in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).”

Energy Markets and JP Morgan ChaseOf course, J.P. Morgan Chase declined to formally comment and, as many would expect, the bank has denied wrongdoing in the past. In this case, the bank neither denies nor admits to the violations.

This incident is yet another in a long string of fraudulent activities; J.P. Morgan Chase is hardly unfamiliar with repeated bad behaviour. Whether it’s LIBOR scandals and rogue traders, or wrongful foreclosures on homeowners the bank ends up denying   wrongful actions and paying relatively meager fines.

What’s it going to take to get this bank in line? Real reform that sticks, perhaps?

{End of Quick News Bite!}