WASHINGTON – Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown on Tuesday said he pushed a pair of nominees for key regulatory posts to take steps to deter big banks from owning and storing oil, aluminum and other key commodities. Brown, chairman of a Senate panel that monitors financial institutions, has been urging regulators to crack down on behavior that could lead to higher prices for consumers. Some large banks buy and hold commodities in a strategy that can lead to higher prices for things such as beer, canned food or fuel. Brown met with Chris Giancarlo and Sharon Bowen as they made the rounds among senators after their nomination to the Commodities Future Trading Commission. "Ohio manufacturers and consumers should not have the price of their gas, beer, soft drinks, or electricity driven up by Wall Street speculators," Brown said. "There seems to be no clear benefit to the economy from banks owning assets like warehouses, tankers, pipelines, and coal mines. The CFTC must take a more aggressive stance to rein in these activities that threaten end users and consumers with higher commodity and energy prices."
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