JPMorgan said to draw BTG bid for entire commodities unit

Volatile Markets

Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat and the panel’s chairman, is among U.S. lawmakers to join regulators in expressing concerns that banks may be put at risk when volatile commodity markets move against them or calamity strikes one of their operations.

“What do we want our banks to do? Make small-business loans or refine and transport oil? Issue mortgages or corner the metals market?” Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking subcommittee, said at a July 23 hearing.

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said three days later that it plans to get out of the business of owning and trading physical commodities. Last month, it said Paul Posoli, 44, was rejoining the unit to help manage the sale, reporting directly to Blythe Masters, JPMorgan’s commodities head. The firm could sell or spin off holdings that include warehouses, stakes in power plants and traders in materials such as gas and coal.

Masters, 44, has told people inside the bank that she’s willing to leave JPMorgan to continue running the business if its new owner agrees, a person familiar with the matter said. She didn’t reply to an e-mailed request for comment about her intentions.

JPMorgan fell 1.1% to $53.05 at 10:26 a.m. in New York. BTG rose 0.1% to 30.59 reais in Sao Paulo.

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