Levin Statement on Bank Involvement with Physical Commodities

        WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, made the following statement about a hearing today before the Senate Banking Committee entitled, “Examining Financial Holding Companies: Should Banks Control Power Plants, Warehouses, and Oil Refineries?” Levin’s subcommittee has conducted more than a decade of investigations into commodity speculation issues.

“The Banking Committee hearing today raised a lot of important questions about the scope of bank involvement with physical commodities and how regulators should handle the problems inherent in that activity. Bank control of physical commodities and related businesses raises conflict of interest, safety and soundness, and market concentration concerns, including how that activity could affect commodity prices or lead banks to disadvantage their customers or competitors. ”