U.S. Senate duo urges Fed clampdown on banks and commodities

WASHINGTON, April 16 Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:08pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - Two U.S. senators on Wednesday pushed the Federal Reserve to write tough new rules to limit Wall Street's role in commodity markets, stepping up pressure for a clampdown on some of the country's largest banks.

"Banks should be prohibited from owning physical assets like warehouses, pipelines, and tankers," Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said in a letter to the U.S. central bank.

The two have led a campaign against the role of large banks such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co in physical commodity markets after complaints from companies about inflated prices.

The Fed has said it is reconsidering a previous policy that allowed banks to build up substantial activities in physical commodity markets, and has asked for comments from the public on a long list of questions.

(For a link to the letter, click on: link.reuters.com/hux58v) (Reporting by Douwe Miedema; Editing by Tom Brown)

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