Category Archives: AFR in the News

In The News: How to Save the Pandemic Generation (The New Republic)

There’s a looming student debt cliff awaiting us in 2021. With America in the teeth of the Covid-19–enabled economic downturn, lawmakers suspended federal student loan payments for 80 percent of federal student loan borrowers. This measure, which President Donald Trump extended a few weeks ago, is set to expire on New Year’s Eve, which means borrowers will ring in the new year by restarting their student loan payments in one of the worst job markets in a decade.

In the News: Trump suspends interest on all federal student loans to ease financial impact of coronavirus

“With so many facing the prospect of lost wages or lost jobs, the government can and should do more than waive interest, which is merely an economic Band-Aid on the gaping financial wound the pandemic is causing,” said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at the liberal think tank Americans for Financial Reform. “The Education Department has the authority to cancel student debt, and using it would mean both short- and medium-term economic stimulus that helps all Americans.”

In The News: How to Buy a Regulation in Six Short Months (The American Prospect)

Under the rule, a borrower would have to sign a notice authorizing the lender to withdraw from the account after those two consecutive failures. “If I was smart, I would only sign that if there was money in there,” says Linda Jun, a policy counsel with Americans for Financial Reform, a regulatory and consumer protection coalition. “Aside from getting charged more for a negative balance, banks close bank accounts over this stuff, you could lose access to banking entirely.”

Bloomberg: Everything Is Private Equity Now

Heather Slavkin Corzo, senior fellow at Americans for Financial Reform and director of capital market policies at the AFL-CIO: “The massive growth of private equity over the past decade means that this industry’s influence, economic and political, has mushroomed,” she says. “It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that we are all stakeholders in private equity these days, one way or another.”

In The News: Elizabeth Warren Lost Her Dream Job but Gained a Path to 2020 (NYT)

It was no longer a lonely effort. Mr. Frank, a powerful committee chairman, was now an ally. So was an emerging coalition of progressive groups, labor unions and consumer advocates, known as Americans for Financial Reform. Ms. Warren sought out its leader, Heather Booth, for insight into political organizing. “She knew many of the players on the policy side,” Ms. Booth said. “What she hadn’t been experienced with were the politics.”

In The News: Mobile Home Affordability Threatened By Private Equity (Nonprofit Quarterly)

Private Equity Giants Converge on Manufactured Homes, a report released this year by three nonprofits—Manufactured Housing Action, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project and Americans for Financial Reform—maps this rapidly changing industry. The report notes, “The top 50 manufactured housing community owners own around 680,000 home sites. With more that 150,000 home sites, private equity firms and institutional investors now control a substantial portion of manufactured home communities.” Some of these firms have familiar names like Blackstone or Carlyle.

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AFR in the News: Trump Asks SEC to Study Quarterly Earnings Requirements for Public Firms (NY Times)

“’Quarterly disclosures are very important. A lot can happen in six months, and it’s just not appropriate to reduce disclosures,’ said Marcus Stanley, the policy director for Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of foundations, unions and public interest groups that pushes for stronger financial regulation. ‘It’s just going to advantage insiders further.’”