Turning Amaranth Lead Into Gold For JPMorgan and Citadel Today’s edition of Platt’s Energy Trader takes in depth look at how Citadel and JPMorgan took over Amaranth’s energy portfolio, turning Amaranth’s losses into profit. The basic outline of the story is that after gas prices sank and the spread between March 2007 and April 2007 natural gas futures shrank,
Amaranth found itself in the troubling position of having to sell off assets, in part to meet the margin calls of its broker, which happened to be JP Morgan. Citadel and JP Morgan then teamed up and bought the portfolio at a steep discount—a move that some at the time thought looked like a bailout of Amaranth.
As it turned out, Amaranth collapsed anyway. It’s energy trading desk was at the heart of its operations, and after the meltdown it had little hope of going on. And the “bailout” was anything but an act of charity or an LTCM-style attempt to shore up market stability. JPMorgan and Citadel had their eyes keenly on the prize—profits. In a matter of weeks, JPMorgan turned around and sold it’s half of the Amaranth position to Citadel, pocketing a cool $750 million.
It pays to take risks. When the bottom is hit there is only one way it will move the upward movement. Again the debate is who know when the bottom is hit.
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