JPMorgan To Exit Physical Commodity Business

After weeks of emptying of their Gold vaults and making headlines in recent days over their oligolopolization of commodity warehousing, it seems the threat of a probe has excited Blythe and her colleagues to dump while the dumping is good:



  • JP. MORGAN TO EXPLORE STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES FOR ITS PHYSICAL COMMODITIES BUSINESS


Options include sale, spin-off, or strategic partnership as they re-confirm that they are "fully committed to traditional banking activities," as they look to drop the holdings of commodities assets and the physical trading business. We can only assume that "physical commodities" include the company's extensive inventories of tungsten (as well as the vault housing it), and not so extensive stores of gold and silver. That said, we are confident that the collapse in represented (but not warranted) JPM Comex gold vault holdings to a record low, and this news is completely unrelated.



From JPM:



J.P. Morgan to Explore Strategic Alternatives for its Physical Commodities Business


 


New York, July 26, 2013 - JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) announced today that it has concluded an internal review and is pursuing strategic alternatives for its physical commodities business, including its remaining holdings of commodities assets and its physical trading operations.


 


To maximize value, the firm will explore a full range of options over time including, but not limited to: a sale, spin off or strategic partnership of its physical commodities business. During the process, the firm will continue to run its physical commodities business as a going concern and fully support ongoing client activities.


 


J.P. Morgan has built a leading commodities franchise in recent years, achieving a top-ranked revenue position. The business has been consistently named as a top client business in Greenwich Associates' annual client surveys and was recently named Derivatives House of the Year by Energy Risk magazine.


 


Following the internal review, J.P. Morgan has also reaffirmed that it will remain fully committed to its traditional banking activities in the commodity markets, including financial derivatives and the vaulting and trading of precious metals. The firm will continue to make markets, provide liquidity and offer advice to global companies and institutions that have, for years, relied on J.P. Morgan's global risk management expertise.



And then the question: which Fed-backed bank will "buy" JPM's commodity exposure? Or maybe this time Bernanke will cut away the middlemen and make the tunnel between its gold vault and that of JPM across Liberty Street, official?

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