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August 2, 2013

July 23, 2013 – Senate Banking Financial Institution and Consumer Protection Subcommittee hearing entitled " Examining Financial Holding Companies: Should Banks Control Power Plants, Wharehouses and Oil Refineries?"

Chairman Brown described the new economic world that has followed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Combined with the conversions of investment bank to bank holding companies in 2008, Wall Street firms have become financially involved in many economic sector, particularly relating to the various commodity enterprises. This issue was the topic of today’s Subcommittee hearing.

The meeting become a forum for a vigorous debate as the risk and benefits of the bank holding companies various holdings. Some argued the vast holdings of the Wall Street giants provide customer benefits and diversity in troubled economic times. Others suggested the acquired economic power could potentially be a means for manipulation and excess profits beyond the capacity of federal financial regulators control,

The Senators did agree that the public interest requires the gathering of more information about the extent of the Wall Street economic reach. Chairman Brown noted that what is certain is the increased risk in the system for firms that enjoys direct access to U.S.. government resources from the Fed Discount Window.

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