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Sherrod Brown

Banks Should Not Own Physical Assets: Senators

The Federal Reserve should prohibit banks from owning physical assets such as commodity and energy trading units, two Senate Democrats said Wednesday. "As a general matter, [big banks] should be prohibited from owning physical assets like warehouses, pipelines, and tankers," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Colorado and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in a letter to the Fed . "These activities pose significant safety and soundness, legal, and reputational risks to institutions." The senators noted that the six largest U.S. banks have a combined 14,420 subsidiaries. "Supervising such complex, sprawling institutions is difficult enough even when they only engage in financial activities," "Permitting them to engage in commercial activities - activities that supervisors are likely less familiar with - multiplies the chances that supervisors will not be able to identify sources of systemic risk," they added. The Fed began a review of its rules allowing banks into the commodit...

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