John F. Bridgers: Separate commercial, investment banking

July 30, 2013 

Bad banking

Citing that our four largest banks are 30 percent larger than five years ago and still engaged in high-risk practices, a small bipartisan group of senators has introduced a 21st century version of Glass-Steagall that would again separate commercial banking from investment banking.

However, as your July 21 news article “Shuffle of metal pure gold to banks” points out, these same banks now have the ability to manipulate the prices of basic commodities such as oil, wheat, coffee, aluminum and soon copper. With government approval, mega-banks are expanding their ownership of storage tanks, warehouses, oil tankers, pipelines and other commodity-related assets in order to manipulate commodity prices to their own advantage and profit. Some of these banks have also been charged with rigging electricity prices.

It’s time for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to not only separate commercial and investment banking but to also remove banking from the transportation and storage of commodities business. These mega-banks have never paid the full cost of the damage they did in 2008 and continue to be a liability to our economic well-being.

John F. Bridgers


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