We should be clear about the motives of the banks’ strong opposition to the bank capital proposals released by federal regulators on July 27. The proposals will make it harder for bank executives to pursue riskier short-term financial gains and mobilize capital for their own benefit by paying excessive dividends and buying back shares. It is that simple, and any debate that does not include this fact is disingenuous.
The famously gruff Volcker had no patience for the arguments of the big-bank lobby against higher capital requirements and other regulations just after the 2008 financial crisis. An equally fitting word is “nonsense,” a favorite of Anat Admati, an economist at Stanford University, who has also applied it repeatedly since 2008.
As we approach the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Representative Ayanna Pressley sent a letter to the CEOs of the five largest banks in the U.S. — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and Citigroup — calling for a financial audit report detailing the status of the racial equity pledges they made in response to the summer 2020 uprisings following the murder of George Floyd. The pledges ranged from $116 million committed by U.S. Bank to $30 billion committed by JPMorgan Chase.
Since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, one of the murkiest corners of the financial market – private credit – has exploded in size as investors chase higher returns. Private credit, also referred to as non-bank direct lending, has become the fastest area of growth in corporate lending.
Amidst a whirlwind of anti-ESG activity at the House Financial Services Committee this month, labor leaders and allies reminded Capitol Hill that workers’ hard-earned money is at the center of this controversy. The off-the-record briefing for Hill staff — titled “Protecting Workers’ Retirement Security from Anti-ESG Attacks” — was planned by Americans for Financial Reform and sponsored by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
Despite being in a legal fight for its very existence, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to carry out its mission to promote fairness and transparency in our financial system and ensure that consumers are protected from predatory and deceptive practices. Its ability to perform under pressure is one more reason why we need a strong CFPB.
Instead of having his most talented employees figuring out how to better serve customers or allocate credit to the real economy, Jamie Dimon has his best and brightest scheming how to evade tougher rules on bank capital that regulators are writing to make the financial system safer.
The banking crisis of 2023, an event appearing on few bingo cards, has thrown a harsh light on the urgency of managing the multitude of crises that the world now faces – climate change being the most existential of them. Factor in the vexing problem that economists have repeatedly underestimated the economic impacts of climate change and we have a straightforward case for proactively hardening the financial system against its effects.
This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a notice of appeal in its redlining lawsuit against Townstone Financial and its owner Barry Sturner as part of an ongoing case. In 2020, the CFPB accused Sturner and Townstone, a nonbank mortgage lender, of violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) by discouraging prospective Black applicants from applying for their mortgages. Unfortunately, in February 2023, Judge Franklin Valerrama of the U.S.