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July 29, 2013

No Easy Fix for Banks-in-Commodities Dispute

“The age-old fight over whether banking and commerce should be separated is trending again, and banks are taking the brunt of it.

The sudden furor over Wall Street’s ownership of commodity businesses — highlighted by a Senate hearing Tuesday and a New York Times investigation into Goldman Sachs’ alleged aluminum price manipulation — is stoking calls for the Federal Reserve Board to close the door on such ownership schemes and furthering support for legislative plans to reinstate Glass-Steagall. And just on Friday one megabank, JPMorgan Chase, said it was considering selling off its physical commodities operation.

But while analysts expect some type of government response to quell the controversy, they caution that the options available to policymakers all have potential pitfalls, from giving nonbanks an unfair advantage in the commodities market to sapping that market of needed liquidity.”

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Read full American Banker article here

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