The Plain Dealer: Beer, banks and metals: Think there’s too much government regulation?

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The Plain Dealer: Beer, banks and metals: Think there’s too much government regulation?

Washington — Should banks control oil tankers, metal warehouses and pipelines?

The subject is complex, as happens when you combine commodities trading, often thought of as a purely financial practice, with actual warehousing and delivery of the commodities, the ownership of those warehouses (or tankers) and the alleged manipulation of the distribution system to wring out extra profits. But it is worth reading about, especially in a political environment in which slogans (“excessive regulation,” anyone?) can be rendered simplistic or naive.

Said Sen. Brown, in a statement this morning: “Ohio manufacturers and consumers should not have the price of their gas, canned food and beverages, or electricity driven up by Wall Street speculators. When Wall Street banks control the supply of both commodities and financial products, there’s a potential for anti-competitive behavior and manipulation. It also exposes these megabanks – and the entire financial system – to undue risk.”

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