“The administration settled on a smart person with a background in the banking industry and in government as well as path-breaking scholarship on financial regulation,” said Carter Dougherty, a spokesperson for Americans for Financial Reform. “In less polarized times, somebody appointed by a Democratic president who worked for a previous Republican administration and for a Wall Street firm would be the kind of candidate everyone can agree on. But we’re at a moment where a candidate acceptable to Wall Street is a candidate that does the bidding of Wall Street. And that’s not acceptable to the public interest.”
“As COVID-19 swept through New Jersey’s nursing homes, residents and workers got sick and died, families struggled to get basic information about their loved ones, and caregivers were rightly terrified that they would bring the virus back to their own families. What few realized is how a secret Wall Street takeover of much of the long-term care industry has amplified the health risks to those who live and work in nursing homes” according to AFR Senior Researcher Patrick Woodall and 1199SEIU Executive Vice President Milly Silva.
The real solution to breaking the power of finance is to rebalance the recession-wracked economy. Rather than gambling on the dubious promise of more Americans gaining access to the casino, it’s time to rewrite the rules to ensure that the house doesn’t always win, writes Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at AFR.
If he’s confirmed to run the SEC, there will be a lot that needs fixing, says Marcus Stanley, who worked with Gensler as a Senate staffer after the financial crisis. Stanley is now the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform. “It’s an absolutely critical regulator,” says Stanley, about the SEC. But, he says, “the SEC as an organization needs some change.” He says perhaps more than any other regulator, the SEC “continued with its pre-2008 record of deregulation, even after the financial crisis.”
“There’s an emphasis on working people, racial justice and inequality, and that’s a good place to start,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, an advocacy group that met with Ms. Yellen this month. “But reversing things that the current Treasury Department has done is not enough.”
“The conflict of interest is just so completely glaring,” said Marcus Stanley, the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, a nonpartisan Wall Street watchdog. “Almost all of ICE’s important activities are regulated in very fine detail by the C.F.T.C.”
Next month, Joe Biden is going confront not only a terrible pandemic but also a pressing economic challenge. And this challenge is unfolding beyond Washington as the sum of thousands of smaller economic challenges being felt in statehouses, county seats, and city halls all across the country. Fortunately, there are tools at hand that President Biden can use. But he’ll have to be bold.
“It’s been hard for small businesses to get the money they need to survive,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit advocacy group, “and now we have the bank regulators, instead of trying to work with their institutions on that, saying, ‘We’re going to throw some more sharks your way.'”
“The C.F.P.B. should make sure companies are complying with all emergency protections on the books, and maximizing assistance to consumers to prevent garnishments, foreclosures and repossessions,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform.