JP Morgan penalized for manipulating California electricity prices

July 30, 2013

JP morganEnergy regulators ordered JP Morgan to pay $410m in penalties for allegedly manipulating electricity prices in California and the mid-west on Tuesday. [Guardian]

JP Morgan has agreed to pay the penalties, though the bank disputes it used improper bidding strategies to squeeze excessive payments from the agencies that run the power grids in California and the Midwest.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s penalty includes $285 million for the federal government and $125 million for ratepayers.

The commission reported that JP Morgan traders offered to sell electricity at artificially low prices to so that electric companies would put their plants on standby mode. JP Morgan would earn special fees for putting the power plants on standby mode.

Later, the traders would offer to sell electricity to the plants at higher than market energy prices for last-minute energy need, the commission said.



  1. r0y says:

    Wow, imagine how people would react if they learned about the LIBOR rate manipulation… 350 TRILLION makes the energy market seem like peanuts.

    Still, crooks from the top down. And they have their buddy in orafice, so they’ll get off easy (see the recent “settlement” with the states for stealing mortgages).

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Pelican1 says:

    ENRON taught us nothing?????

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. slomike says:

    We can’t have oversight! That would interfere with “The Invisible Hand”.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. SandyK says:

    This is EXACTLY why we need government oversight for such things. Republicans are pretty much against any type of regulation, even the kind that might have stopped these traders from manipulating electricity rates in California and Michigan…

    (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
    • tomsquawk says:

      well, yes, but who gets the majority of the penalty? the public?

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • slojustice says:

        Let’s just call them what they are. Pirates!

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
      • SandyK says:

        On a national level, the Republicans are for deregulation. They think big corporations can be trusted to do the right thing….well they can’t.. I’ll just say Casmalia. Disasters like the recent one in Texas stem from letting those kind of businesses run unchecked. They NEVER have the public’s well being in mind…all they care about is $$$$$$.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Though the Democrats have controlled the California legislation for the last what? 20 years…… So who really is against regulation?

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      I agree that there needs to be limitations and controls on such things, but given the corruptibility of government via campaign contributions, future employment prospects for government regulators and other devices, how can we consistently trust the government to do the job correctly (to say nothing of efficiently?) Maybe the limitations should be on corporate size so that they can’t do as much damage when they abuse their economic power.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • tomsquawk says:

        wait. didn’t the gvmnt de-regulate the industry in the 70’s ? and don’t blame it on a rep or a dem

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • Maxfusion says:

      Oh really, like that wonderful government that lent 500 plus million to an 11 million dollar company called Solyndra who went bankrupt a year later, and was controlled by a Kennedy? The list is too long to recite. Please list for me the things the “government” has fixed.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  5. Willow says:

    Call ’em up and ask:

    1. How is the agency funded?

    2. What does the agency do with all the monies it receives from penalties?

    Phone Number: (202) 502-6088
    Toll-free: (866) 208-3372


    Address: 888 First Street, NE
    Washington, DC 20426


    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • Rambunctious says:

      I agree call em…good post Willow thanks for posting the contact info. Just one thing…when you call… do it from a payphone and disguise your voice. lol

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • tomsquawk says:

      they get 70%, isn’t that what the article said? RRR

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. Jorge Estrada says:

    And so who gets the money, the damaged public or another fund sucking government franchise?

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  7. bummerforu says:

    Worst bank in the county! Horrible customer service and over the top ignorance. Won’t be long and they will be bought out…….

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      1. TIed with BofA. 2. Pretty much the truth. 3. Wishful thinking — still too big and powerful to fail.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  8. TaxMeAgain says:

    “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s penalty includes $285 million for the federal government and $125 million for ratepayers.”

    Perfect. So the JPM clowns rape the customers and FERC keeps 70% of the recovered money. Where is the justice in that? We should slap a class action suit on FERC for keeping our stolen money.

    Remember when this country had integrity and people did the right thing? I do.

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
    • tomsquawk says:

      agree with all of that, especially the suit

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  9. slojustice says:

    Another bank ripping us off. Our founding fathers warned us about not controlling our currency and the power of out of control banks.

    (23) 23 Total Votes - 23 up - 0 down

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