FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams “is doing the bidding of loan sharks who have a decades-long history of trying to get around state consumer protection rules,” Americans for Financial Reform spokesperson Carter Dougherty observed. “And now a federal regulator is helping them do it.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) introduced groundbreaking and essential legislation to repeal the deeply flawed Opportunity Zone tax break passed as part of the 2017 tax cut legislation. In addition to the basic problems with this tax break for the wealthy, multiple media exposés have already found that the rules have been bent to include parcels that benefitted high-rolling real estate investors, including those with ties to the Trump administration.
The hearing followed the July 18 introduction of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act Rep. Maxine Waters, the chair of the committee, highlighted that there are “too many examples of private equity firms destroying companies, and preying on hardworking Americans to maximize their profits” as she opened the hearing.
Today we submit written testimony in support of the “Stop Wall Street Looting Act,” which would address the problems currently being created by private equity firms and hedge funds while preventing these problems in the future. This is an urgent issue for low-income communities and communities of color organizing in our network, who are directly impacted by Wall Street’s predatory and risky financial practices. Every day, people are faced with the harsh realities of corporations that exert more and more power in our economy and their lives. From the moment they wake up, people are increasingly subject to the whims of unregulated corporate power that determines where people live, how they work, and even their ability to access live-saving healthcare.
We are pleased to endorse the Stop Wall Street Looting Act (the “SWLSA”) (H.R. 3848) that was introduced by Representatives Pocan, Jayapal, García, Grijalva, Khanna, Lee, Pressley, Schakowsky, and Tlaib earlier this year. If enacted, the SWSLA will shut down a series of loopholes in the securities, bankruptcy and tax laws that allow a handful of Wall Street millionaires and billionaires to profit at the expense of working people.
Across industries, private equity has drawn much criticism for the unscrupulous ways it maximizes returns. Within the prison industry, private equity firms have quietly but aggressively consolidated market players and used the resulting corporate nesting dolls to exploit disenfranchised communities with dangerously poor service quality and predatory pricing practices. Private equity-backed corporations have driven families into debt over the cost to maintain contact,3 killed patients under their care,4 served maggot-contaminated food,5 and generally stripped incarcerated people and their families of their dignity. Just a handful of private equity firms own the majority of the largest prison service corporations with little oversight. We have highlighted these private equity firms, their holdings, and their problematic practices in the prison service industry below.
The survey found that voters across party lines both disapprove of common approaches of private equity firms in taking over and running existing businesses. They also approve of measures to increase accountability, close loopholes, and protect workers, investors and the viability of target firms.
Voters support continued reform of Wall Street, and that conviction extends to the private equity industry, according to a new poll by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting. Majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans, oppose the predatory tactics of private equity industry, and support legislative proposals aimed at correcting its abuses.