Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan will pay $920 million to settle charges that its commodity trading desk manipulated the market, allowing the bank to rake in millions of dollars in profits, the government alleged.

Why it matters: It's the largest fine ever imposed for a "spoofing" case — and a milestone for government efforts to clamp down on the trading tactic criminalized after the financial crisis.

What they're saying: JPMorgan's "illegal trading significantly benefited JPM and harmed other market participants," the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a key regulator, said in a release announcing the penalty.

Details: The case alleged JPMorgan trading desks placed hundreds of thousands of orders for trades they intended to cancel. The orders flooded the silver, gold and other metals and treasuries markets and manipulated prices in a way that would later benefit the bank. This is known as spoofing.

  • JPMorgan admitted to wrongdoing, though no restrictions were placed on the bank for the misconduct.
  • Three agencies — the Justice Department, the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — were involved in the probes.

Flashback: Prosecutors charged former JPMorgan traders one year ago for "widespread spoofing" that spanned nearly a decade.

  • Two traders have already pleaded guilty, while four others are fighting the charges.
  • In 2015, JPMorgan settled with the DOJ and Federal Reserve and paid a $550 million fine for its role in manipulating the foreign exchange markets.

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Bank earnings soar again, even as their stock prices remain stagnant

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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley all saw trading revenue rise more than 20% in the third quarter, with Morgan Stanley's earnings report Thursday showing profits jumped 25% from a year earlier to $2.72 billion and a 16% increase in revenue, which rose to $11.7 billion.

The big picture: Even after lackluster headline earnings from Bank of America and Wells Fargo, the five biggest U.S. investment banks are on pace to rake in $100 billion in trading revenue this year.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.