“Even in a government full of people without the integrity, will or courage to do the right thing, most of the agencies stand down — or at least pretend to — when ordered by the courts. But not the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, who seems to have been only further animated by her losses in court over her efforts to deny the rightful debt cancellations owed to people who attended predatory, for-profit colleges, borrowers who are disproportionately women and people of color, and often now working in front-line jobs.”
Every federal agency must dedicate all regulatory resources to addressing COVID-19 and the enforcement of rules meant to protect public health, consumers, investors and retirees, and the integrity and stability of the markets. The pursuit of any non-crisis-related rulemaking would be a misallocation of limited resources that distracts needed focus from U.S. public health and welfare, and financial stability.
State and local governments are the main providers of basic public services in the U.S. They are on the front lines of combating the Covid-19 pandemic, the most serious public-health threat in a century. But it’s unlikely these governments will have the funds they need to fight the epidemic properly unless Congress acts to require the Federal Reserve to expand state and local fiscal powers.
As Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, put it, last year, the CFPB “was constructed really deliberately to protect ordinary people,” and the Trump administration has “taken it apart — dismantled it, piece by piece, brick by brick.” I [Leandra English] am honored to join DFS Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell’s team to ensure that as Washington retreats, New York continues to lead.
In The News: Following Mark Zuckerberg’s Hearing, FACEBOOK’s Libra Project Hangs in the Balance (The American Prospect)
By most accounts, FACEBOOK CEO Mark Zuckerberg fared poorly at a recent hearing in the House Financial Services Committee. This is perhaps especially true with respect to questions about FACEBOOK’s Libra project—the technotrust’s ambitious attempt to mint “real money” for worldwide use.
In The News: A Majority of Democratic and Republican Voters Want Tougher Wall Street Regulations (Vox)
“I think really the most striking thing about this polling has been its consistency,” Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, told Vox. “The experience of the crisis was a really deep and serious one for people. It may have faded into memory of some policy makers and some regulators, unfortunately, but it has not faded in people’s memory because the experience was long-lasting for people.”
Kraninger is wildly unqualified to lead the CFPB: Before her confirmation, she had no experience in consumer protection or financial regulation. Civil rights groups and Wall Street watchdogs [AFR letter linked] uniformly opposed her, while the financial industry supported her—perceiving correctly that she would be, at best, a do-nothing director.
In the News: Consumer ‘Protector’ Is Ready To Make It Easier For Debt Collectors To Harass You (HuffPost)
“Did anyone take Internet Security 101?” says Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform. “I always tell my elderly parents, whatever you do, don’t click on anything! How do you know it’s legit? How do you know it isn’t a scam?”
In the News: The Workers Bearing the Brunt of Retail’s Struggles? Primarily Women and People of Color. (Vox)
Vox article quotes Heather Slavkin-Corzo, senior fellow at Americans for Financial Reform and director of capital markets policy for the AFL-CIO: “When a private equity firm steps in, it’s a classic case of ‘Heads I win, tails you lose’ … They have a real short-term focus on extracting as much cash as possible, as quickly as possible.”
In the News: Private Equity’s Role in Retail has Decimated 1.3 Million Jobs, Study Says (Washington Post)
In practice, that meant they often sold off real estate holdings, cut workers’ pay and benefits, and did away with jobs to turn a quick profit for investors, according to Heather Slavkin Corzo, a senior fellow at Americans for Financial Reform and the director of capital markets policy for the labor union AFL-CIO. “When a private equity firm steps in, it’s a classic case of ‘heads I win, tails you lose,” Corzo said. “They have a real short-term focus on extracting as much cash as possible, as quickly as possible.”