Having a rapacious business like private equity watching over particularly vulnerable people has never been a good idea. Still the evidence is mounting that Wall Street has pushed the envelope in recent years. Nursing homes, youth facilities, and homes for disabled adults have all fallen under the ownership of an industry with a track record of prioritizing wealth extraction over running companies well, to say nothing of caring for people in need.
In much of America, owning a car is necessary to participate in the economy, and to live a full and vibrant life. However, this ticket to opportunity comes at an increasingly steep price – as of 2021, Americans owe $1.42 trillion in auto loan debt.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposals on Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) provide retail investors with much greater investor protections, which is welcome news to AFR, as we have been urging such changes for more than a year.
Blog Post: Wall Street and private equity are “gobbling up homes,” driving inflation and exacerbating the housing crisis
In a House Financial Services Committee hearing from the beginning of March, both Representatives and witnesses discussed how Wall Street and private equity are causing housing prices to soar and driving inflation.
Wall Street’s private equity barons smashed previous records to complete $1.2 trillion worth of acquisitions in the United States in 2021, an all-time record. Globally, the industry gobbled up companies worth $2.1 trillion. The new acquisitions and the massive debts the industry generates is creating the risk of “the dotcom boom meeting with the financial crisis,” according to one insider.
A new Government Accountability Office report confirms several conclusions in AFR’s initial analysis of the Opportunity Zones program.
Lordstown Motors was supposed to be a promising electric vehicle startup backed by General Motors that would help revolutionize low-emissions vehicles while also revitalizing America’s “Rust Belt”. Instead, many of its promises, exploiting the loopholes in the SPAC model, were soon found to be untrue, reiterating the important changes that need to be made to the business model of companies taken public through SPACs.
In the discourse surrounding student debt cancellation, some pundits and lawmakers have consistently missed the mark on the benefits this policy will bring. Too many have ignored the very serious ways that student debt is a disproportionate burden on women borrowers, and Black women with student debt in particular.
Sen. Warren and Rep. Jayapal’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act of 2021 could not be a more timely reminder that the United States needs serious policy changes to address massive wealth and income inequality. Wall Street is the second-largest source of billionaire wealth, after the technology industry. While 8 million Americans slipped into poverty and half a million lives were lost to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic — all with a disproportionately large impact on communities of color — the wealth of U.S. billionaires almost doubled, up $1.3 trillion.
The billionaires and millionaires of Wall Street deploy so much money to influence American politics and society that we can easily lose track of how pervasive it is. They spread money around to campaigns, think tanks, and lobbyists. Wealthy executives finance universities, cultural institutions, and hospitals. And this historical moment has laid bare for all to see that Wall Street also finances a virulently anti-democratic strain in American politics, one that always takes aim at people of color.