Statement of Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) on Federal Reserve Notice Related to Bank Involvement with Physical Commodities

“The Federal Reserve notice issued today expresses a litany of concerns about bank holding company involvement with physical commodities.  Citing oil spills, railway crashes, nuclear power plant meltdowns, and natural gas explosions, the Federal Reserve describes how a low probability but high cost catastrophic event could shake public confidence in a major financial institution, triggering problems for the bank holding company, its federally insured bank, and even the U.S. financial system.  The Fed is absolutely right when it says we need to consider strengthening the limits on bank participation in physical commodity activities.  Senator Sherrod Brown’s Banking subcommittee is holding a timely hearing tomorrow that will advance that important effort.  The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which I chair, is also investigating those issues.”