A report released this week by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that banks had built up enormous holdings of commodities and infrastructure that allowed the banks to monitor and influence the price of these materials.One potential danger for banks holding commodities infrastructure, like coal mines, is that the infrastructure could be involved in environmental disasters that would expose the banks to significant legal liability.Mr. Tarullo, the Fed governor who oversees regulatory policies, is expected to testify that “physical commodities activities can pose unique risks to the safety and soundness of financial holding companies.”
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