Nineteen organizations and individuals that advocate on behalf of consumers, workers, investors and retirees have called on the Department of Labor to withdraw its controversial policy statement opening the door to private equity investments in 401(k) plans.
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.
At the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, big banks will be paying some $13 billion in shareholder dividends. If this level of dividends continues for the rest of 2020, big banks could be permitted to pay out over $50 billion in dividends for 2020.
AFR Education Fund and 46 other organizations sent a letter to regulatory agencies urging them to suspend all non-COVID-19 rulemaking activity. Public advocates and regulatory agencies should focus all resources on responding to the public health emergency and the economic crisis.