WASHINGTON Feb 6 Blythe Masters, who heads
JPMorgan's 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 and
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.
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 markets overseas.
Since then, the CFTC has given the public time to comment on
a Nov. 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 Commission (FERC).
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 Cynthia Osterman)