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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Commissioner Tony Clark Statement
July 30, 2013
Docket Nos. IN11-8-000 and IN13-5-000

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The Approval of the Settlement Between JP Morgan and FERC Office of Enforcement

“Today’s order approving settlement is a historic one. It highlights the important work of the Commission and its Office of Enforcement and it sends a strong signal that market manipulation is being taken seriously.

“As the newest member of the Commission, this case has been an eye-opener for me in relation to the challenges faced by our Office of Enforcement. In this investigation and others, it has become too common for subjects of an investigation to take steps to obfuscate the true intent of their business strategies as a litigation posture for dealing with their regulators.

“It should go without saying, but perhaps it bears mentioning: the Commission must have complete candor and accuracy by all parties. Behavior that is designed to impede the administration of justice frustrates and delays the work of our agency to oversee jurisdictional markets and to protect consumers. If individuals or entities believe their strategies and courses of conduct are compliant with Commission rules and regulations, then there is no reason to not want to fully explain to Commission staff how those business strategies are employed, for what purpose, and why a certain course of conduct is permissible under the law.

“On balance, the settlement is in the best interest of the public. It offers substantial transparency in terms of describing the prohibited activity, so that other market participants can learn from this case. Illicitly earned funds will be immediately returned to those consumers who were harmed, rather than after a long multi-year court proceeding. Additionally, JPMorgan will pay a historic fine. Finally, the government resolves the matter without expending further resources. In sum, while in a settlement no one gets everything he or she may have wanted, this one meets the test of transparency, timeliness, significance and prudency.”