We stand in solidarity with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the millions of Black people subject to racial oppression, violence, and murder at the hands of the police and of white supremacists.
Washington, D.C. – A new plan from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today should save real people real money – $9 billion each year – by capping the late charges that credit card companies impose on customers. But the consumer agency also faces an existential threat that the Supreme Court may soon address.
House Republicans rang in the New Year with a craven attempt to pander to their corporate cronies, making the 118th Congress’ very first vote one to defund the IRS and protect tax evaders. This comes after the agency finally received much-needed funding in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act after years of being under-resourced.
Washington, D.C. – The announcement that Chevron will spend $75 billion on stock buybacks underscores the urgency of reinforcing a measure Congress created last year to penalize companies that engage in a financial practice that amplifies rampant wealth inequality, and in this case boosts the bottom line of a climate-harming industry.
Washington, D.C.— The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to prohibit conflicts of interest in securitizations, though a long time coming, will finally address the problem of Wall Street arranging bets in which financial institutions effectively rip off their own clients.
Washington, D.C. – The $3.7 billion dividend payout by Albertsons Companies at the behest of a consortium led by private equity firm Cerberus will enrich people who are already extremely wealthy at the expense of communities and workers nationwide.
“The OCC has a long record of being super-tight with the big banks. The onus is on them to ensure that this plan on too-big-to-manage is not just paper-pushing,” says Sarah Pray, managing director for policy at Americans for Financial Reform. “Process is nice, but results – delivered promptly – that finally end chronic abuse of consumers by too-big-to-manage megabanks would be better.”
The Federal Reserve pilot climate scenario analysis to spur six major U.S. banks to evaluate their climate risks represents a necessary step towards getting these financial institutions to understand their transition risks and the severe physical threats on their residential and commercial real estate portfolios. But there needs to be a more assertive approach to how megabanks manage their climate risks.
The nation’s big-bank regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, should help broaden and extend a crackdown on financial institutions that repeatedly violate the law – notably Wells Fargo – with all the tools at its disposal. Comptroller Michael Hsu is speaking on the problem of “too big to manage” today. The speech comes about a month after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Wells to pay $3.7 billion over widespread mismanagement of auto loans, mortgages, and deposit accounts, and promised to work with other federal regulators to find durable solutions to its constant violations of the law.
AFR joined partners as amici in urging the United State Supreme Court in upholding the President’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers. This cancellation has the power to shift the racial wealth gap, free borrowers of the weight of student loan debt and potentially plant BIPOC communities on even ground with their white counterparts.
Andrew Park, senior policy analyst for hedge funds and private equity at Americans for Financial Reform and the author of the report, estimates the volume of leveraged loans and high-yield debt outstanding has roughly doubled since 2008, while the volume of direct-lending debt has increased from virtually zero to an estimate of more than $1 trillion. “The fact is that there is no good way to understand how indebted companies actually are,” [Mr. Park] said. “We have guesses and estimates based on the data out there, but there is no standardized way to look at it.”