Fed tells congress to restrict banks from buying stocks, commodities

What is The Fed suddenly worried about?

In a somewhat shocking report from The Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen and her motley crew of private bankers are urging Congress to make some significant changes to banking regulation. As Bloomberg highlights:

  • Fed urges Congress to repeal section of the Bank Holding Act that allows Wall Street firms to make investments in non-financial companies, report says
  • Prohibiting merchant banking would prevent Wall Street from “becoming exposed to the risk of legal liability for the operations of a portfolio company,” Fed says
  • Merchant-banking ban would also “help address potential safety and soundness concerns and maintain the basic tenet of separation of banking and commerce,” Fed says
  • Fed also advises Congress to restrict bank ownership of physical commodities
  • Fed separately advises Congress to force industrial loan companies to operate within the “regulatory and supervisory framework applicable to other corporate owners of insured depository institutions”
  • Fed, FDIC and OCC report to Congress on bank practices required under Dodd-Frank Act

The two that caught our eyes most were:

1) the ban on ‘investing in non-financial companies’, which is highly ironic given that other central banks are directly buying massive stakes in the world’s corporate entities; and


2) restrictions on physical ownership of commodities, which raises eyebrows on both oil manipulation and the hoarding of precious metals ahead of The Fed losing control.

Of course, the chances of any of these recommendations actually being signed into law is nil – especially if Clinton is elected – since Wall Street donors will not take kindly to this ‘restriction’.

Via Zero Hedge