Blythe Masters, the chief of JP Morgan’s commodities unit, could leave the bank in a deal to exit JPM from the physical commodities business, a person close to her told
the Wall Street Journal.
Masters, an economist, is widely credited with creating the credit default swap, and was the youngest woman to become a managing director at the bank at age 28.
JP Morgan only got into the physical commodities business by chance, during the financial crisis. That’s when it inherited Bear Stearns’ commodities units and then bought RBS’ for a song.
The problem is that according to bank regulation dating bank to the 1960s, bank-holding companies like JPM are not supposed to hold these assets anyway.
Now the Fed gets to decide whether JPM, and all the other major banks, will keep these businesses. JPM has already said it’s willing to let it all go. What the WSJ is saying is that Masters could leave JPM for whoever buys the business as part of the deal.
Masters’ unit has come under fire recently too. This summer JP Morgan paid a $US410 million fine to settle charges that its traders were manipulating energy markets. Regulators are still investigating the unit too.
That’s a lot of eyes on it.