Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to hold Hearing On Wall Street Bank Involvement with Physical Commodities

WASHINGTON — The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has scheduled a two-day hearing, “Wall Street Bank Involvement With Physical Commodities,” on Thursday, November 20 and Friday, November 21, 2014.

After a two-year bipartisan investigation, the subcommittee will hold a hearing examining the extent to which banks and their holding companies own physical commodities like oil, natural gas, aluminum and other industrial metals, as well as own or control businesses like power plants, oil and gas pipelines, and commodity warehouses.

“Over the last five years, our largest banks and their holding companies have become deeply involved in a wide range of physical commodity activities in ways that pose risks to the U.S. financial system, U.S. commodity markets, U.S. businesses and families that use commodities, and U.S. taxpayers,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich, Subcommittee Chairman. “The objective of the hearing is to provide facts that have been missing from the public debate about the nature and extent of bank involvement with physical commodities and the impact and consequences of that involvement.”

“Banks have been involved in the trade and ownership of physical commodities for a number of years, but have recently increased their participation in new ways,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “Through this subcommittee’s hearing, we will learn about the extent to which this involvement is appropriate for banks to engage in.”

The hearing will begin on both days at 9:30 a.m. in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. A witness list will be available on Monday, November 17, 2014.