HOTTER ON METALS: Let’s get physical

Commodities, unlike stocks and bonds, are tangible assets.

Whether oil, food or metal, the very nature of commodities means that they have to be transported around the world to consumers. Some kind of company has to do that. The question is, what kind? If the growing political noise in Washington gets its way, it won’t be banks that store metal, transport oil and natural gas, or send silo-loads of grain around the world. When US president Bill Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, it repealed part of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act by removing barriers among banking, securities and insurance companies that prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of the three. Opponents argue this helped cause the subprime mortgage financial crisis and ultimately the global economic downturn. Some politicians have been gunning to do away with Gramm-Leach-Bliley since. Importantly for metals, oil and agriculture, the Act also provided two ways for bank holding companies to...


Andrea Hotter

August 21, 2013

08:31 GMT