Lawmakers must dramatically step up the quality and quantity of data that the executive branch releases on programs designed to provide relief from the economic downturn stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter from 26 labor, community, consumer, and other organizations.
We write on behalf of the undersigned organizations to urge you to include conditions in the next COVID-19 response legislation that require all organizations that receive federal financial support to retain workers, preserve workers’ rights, and institute policies and procedures to protect workers from exposure to the virus.
In place of a heartless free market of panicked investors who might want to cut their losses and sell, the plan is to simulate real buying and selling of financial products like mortgages and bonds with directed deployments of the Fed’s endless trillions. And they will be endless … Marcus Stanley of Americans for Financial Reform said, “The Fed’s perspective on this is, they want to create normalcy.” But what does “normal” mean in an economy that may be changed forever?
Fact Sheet: Private Equity Industry Poised to Profit from the Federal Reserve’s New Lending Programs
Private equity funds could access government assistance for their portfolio companies while avoiding any responsibility to repay any debt or obligations to the public purse. Private equity firms could also tap government aid to finance leveraged buyout purchases of additional companies, using public money to load target companies with debt and drain their assets while avoiding any responsibility for paying that debt back.
The Fed must aggressively attempt to retain institutional credibility as a neutral actor in our economic order with regards to the distributional effects of its policies. It should not help finance a merger wave that leads to large-scale consolidation of companies which would have been healthy competitors but for temporary impacts of the current crisis.
Letter to Regulators: The Fed must reject any effort by banks to increase involvement in oil and gas
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund sent a letter to the Federal Reserve Board, urging them to avoid any actions which would permit the financial holding companies or any of their subsidiaries to directly or indirectly operate oil or gas companies. The letter highlights the manifold physical, economic, reputational and financial system risks of bank commodity holdings, risks have become even more severe with the recent dislocation in global energy markets. As these markets will be disrupted for an extended period, the letter asks the Board to firmly reject any effort by banks to use the situation with respect to defaulting loans in the energy industry to increase bank involvement in the oil and gas industry.
Letter to Regulators: Fifty Organizations call for Transparency In Federal Reserve/Treasury Emergency Assistance
Note: On the afternoon this letter was sent the Federal Reserve announced it would be providing additional transparency in 13(3) facilities. See our comment linked here for earlier AFR Edcucation Fund communications with the Federal Reserve on this issue. Download a pdf of the letter
News Release: Fed Must Set Priorities, Impose Conditions, Ensure Transparency for Coronavirus Funding
Absent major changes, the Federal Reserve’s multi-trillion-dollar funding programs will reward corporate insiders and financial speculators, without guaranteeing desperately needed help for those hardest-hit by the coronavirus crisis. The Fed needs to set the right priorities for this credit and impose conditions that ensure the benefits of this extraordinary assistance go to those who need it most.
Together, these facilities could deploy up to $2.3 trillion in new credit to the economy during the pandemic crisis period. Without major changes these facilities will not be effective in getting assistance to those most impacted by the crisis, and disclosure and transparency regarding specific borrowers and loan terms is lacking. Our comment provides specific recommendations to address these issues.
AFR Education Fund released the following policy memo analyzing the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented move to provide direct credit to states and localities. A pdf copy of the memo is available here. Review of New Federal Reserve Facilities On April 9th the Federal Reserve announced six