Category Archives: In the News

In The News: How the Fed’s inflation battle is already slamming the economy

Andrew Park, a senior policy analyst at the progressive Americans for Financial Reform, said a lot of companies also failed to take advantage of the debt binge during the pandemic to make productive investments, citing private equity-owned firms that borrowed money to pay dividends to shareholders. “When you have all this corporate debt that’s been issued, what happens is, it’s less of an immediate implosion and more of a drawn-out process where the debt becomes an amplifier” to any recession. That’s because people lose their jobs and income, which further dampens economic activity.

In The News: Bank lobbyists’ attacks on CFPB obscure the real ‘rogues’ (American Banker)

Polling [from Americans for Financial Reform] has consistently found that the public likes having a strong CFPB. It’s why banking lobbyists try to harp on images of government bureaucrats telling people what to do. But the public on the whole appreciates that the financial services industry is massive and powerful; it put nearly $3 billion into the 2020 elections, [according to AFR research].

In The News: Senators to Propose Industry-Friendly Cryptocurrency Bill

“This legislation would do quite a bit to undermine existing securities laws by creating an alternative route that could bypass the current, time-tested rules,” said Mark Hays, a senior policy analyst on fintech at Americans for Financial Reform, a progressive advocacy group. He added that the bill would create a new class of securities that lack the necessary investor protections.

In The News: Who gets to own a bank?

In today’s polarized environment, it’s refreshing to see the banking industry and consumer advocacy organizations in agreement over the fact that industrial loan corporations or industrial banks only serve as a loophole for large companies to own a bank. These odd bedfellows range from the Center for Responsible Lending, Americans for Financial Reform and the Woodstock Institute on one end, to the Bank Policy Institute, PNC and the Independent Community Bankers of America on the other.

In The News: The Deep Roots of the Racial Wealth Gap—and How We Undo It

In the more than 150 years since the end of the Civil War, Black American wealth remains a fraction of that held by White Americans. Just after emancipation in 1865, African Americans owned 0.5% of national wealth. While closing this divide is essential to achieving racial equity in this country, it’s important that we apply the right tools for the job. We can’t properly solve problems without understanding their origins. The growing divide between White wealth and Black wealth is a product of economic systems designed to extract wealth from Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and redirect it to the wealthy, almost uniformly White elite.

In The News: Biden and Trump Both Trashed Private Equity’s Favorite Tax Dodge. Surprise! It’s Still Here.

“People get this really easily—we’re giving a whole lot of rich people more money for no reason other than them being rich,” says Mandla Deskins, advo­cacy manager at Take on Wall Street, an organization pressuring members of Congress to jettison this tax break. “It’s not necessarily dead,” Deskins says of the most recent effort to close the loophole, “but it is definitely on pause.”

Financial Policy Stymied as Biden Faces Confirmation Struggles

“There’s nothing happening to reverse the Trump deregulatory agenda at the Fed or to think about what the Fed ought to be doing on financial regulation,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, an advocacy group that represents unions and civil-rights and consumer groups.

In The News: Banks change their tack in navigating the culture war

“When we talk about the [North Carolina] bathroom bills of 2016 and 2017 compared to now, my first response is, well, they haven’t felt that the public pressure that they would be feeling to do something is worth more than the financial benefit they have from doing nothing,” said Mandla Deskins, an advocacy manager for Take on Wall Street, an activist coalition that pushes for financial reform. “That is the calculation that I would assume banks are always making,” Deskins added, “because it’s not like they have some long-standing position against hate.”