A group of financial reform, labor, and public interest organizations today warned the Federal Reserve not to water down rules that limit the access of companies owned by private equity firms to emergency lending facilities created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Allies of the industry have pressed the Fed to loosen the affiliation rules for its new Main Street Lending Facility, a step that would ease the way for private equity to access public money despite its ready access to capital markets and uninvested capital.
Lawmakers must dramatically step up the quality and quantity of data that the executive branch releases on programs designed to provide relief from the economic downturn stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter from 26 labor, community, consumer, and other organizations.
The only plausible reason to hide information about the small-business relief program, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced, is that the Trump administration wants to hide who is or is not getting help, and to what extent it is working.
We write on behalf of the undersigned organizations to urge you to include conditions in the next COVID-19 response legislation that require all organizations that receive federal financial support to retain workers, preserve workers’ rights, and institute policies and procedures to protect workers from exposure to the virus.
AFR In The News: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Top Six Dubious Accomplishments In 2018 (Talking Points Memo)
“The failure of Mulvaney’s CFPB to properly carry out the law, whether by failing to supervise companies or dropping cases that were underway is a green light for direct and immediate harm to ordinary Americans,” Carter Dougherty, communications director for Americans for Financial Reform, told TPM via email.
AFR IN THE NEWS: Legislation Could Follow Executive Order on Failing Bank Provision (Morning Consult)
“’If the government doesn’t have the powers it needs to liquidate and wind down a failing mega-bank, we will just see banks holding up the taxpayer again during the next crisis,’ Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform, said in a statement Friday.”
“Mandatory margin requires participants in the swaps market to take full account of the risks of their derivatives transactions and provide some level of advance provisioning for such risks. The availability of properly segregated margin is clearly of enormous value in case of the default of a swaps counterparty.”
“On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), we write today to ask you to ensure appropriate regulatory oversight of derivatives transactions conducted through foreign subsidiaries of multinational Wall Street banks. In particular, we urge you to prevent the inappropriate classification of such derivatives as ‘non-guaranteed’ by the parent company, a classification which could exempt them from numerous critical derivatives regulations.”
“Broad consensus on the real-life harms caused by these lending products has united consumers in all 50 states and forged an unprecedented call of concern linking 467 organizations including civil rights leaders, clergy, labor, veterans, elder and consumer advocates. Pending legislation and an upcoming rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) together triggered a deluge of advocacy with a single purpose: stop the debt trap of triple-digit interest rates on a range of predatory products like payday, car title and high-cost installment loans.”
“Surveys show high levels of voter support for tougher rules; apart from the Senate’s confirmation of two notable regulatory officials, however, most of last year’s congressional votes on such matters were over efforts to reverse or water down reforms already enacted into law. And while some legislators resisted those efforts and continued to press for more industry accountability, many others – particularly in the House – threw their weight behind a series of proposals to weaken existing rules or to undermine the agencies charged with implementing them.”