“The OCC has a long record of being super-tight with the big banks. The onus is on them to ensure that this plan on too-big-to-manage is not just paper-pushing,” says Sarah Pray, managing director for policy at Americans for Financial Reform. “Process is nice, but results – delivered promptly – that finally end chronic abuse of consumers by too-big-to-manage megabanks would be better.”
Andrew Park, senior policy analyst for hedge funds and private equity at Americans for Financial Reform and the author of the report, estimates the volume of leveraged loans and high-yield debt outstanding has roughly doubled since 2008, while the volume of direct-lending debt has increased from virtually zero to an estimate of more than $1 trillion. “The fact is that there is no good way to understand how indebted companies actually are,” [Mr. Park] said. “We have guesses and estimates based on the data out there, but there is no standardized way to look at it.”
In The News: What Happens When Private Equity Is Your Landlord in Hawai‘i (Hawaii Business Magazine)
Private equity firms, private equity-backed firms, firms that offer private equity real estate funds, and firms with other private equity co-investors or joint ventures own at least 1 million apartment units in the country – around 3.6% of all apartments – according to a June 2022 research memo by Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit and non-partisan coalition.
Our rent affordability crisis has hit people of color particularly hard. Nationally, over half of Black and Latinx households rent their homes, compared to just 28 percent of white households. Forty percent of homeless Americans are Black, compared to 13 percent of the U.S. population.
In The News: Postal Service will electrify trucks by 2026 in climate win for Biden (The Washington Post)
“The fact that there were no commitments for the vehicles to be union-made is a glaring omission for an administration that prides itself on being union friendly,” said Porter McConnell, campaign director of the consumer rights group Take on Wall Street and co-founder of the Save the Post Office Coalition. “We will be looking to future announcements committing to the Oshkosh and the commercial off-the-shelf vehicles being union-made, which we know is entirely feasible.”
For private equity firms, said Andrew Park, a policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, “it’s heads I win, tails you lose.”
In The News: Albertsons wants to issue a $4 billion ‘special dividend.’ Critics call it ‘looting.’ (The Washington Post)
“Private equity firms have a long track record of being extractive — that is, extracting wealth from their portfolio companies,” said Carter Dougherty, spokesman for the Americans for Financial Reform, which advocates for regulation of private equity. “When you see Cerberus shaking $4 billion out of a company in a difficult industry like groceries, it’s not out of bounds to say this is yet another episode of industry abuses.”
“A CBDC format that has Big Tech running the back end is just another backdoor way for them to encroach on financial services,” says Mark Hays, a senior policy analyst with Americans for Financial Reform, a policy advocacy group that has been skeptical of CBDCs.
According to a recent analysis from the Private Equity Stakeholder Project and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF), the eight largest buyout firms have put nearly as much money into coal, oil and gas as the big bank.
In The News: Climate Advocate Defends SEC Disclosure Rule, Calls Out Big Banks for Harming Planet (Capitol Account)
Alex Martin is also a financial regulation specialist (see, we’re not way out over our skis) with a focus on climate. He works at Americans for Financial Reform where he is spending a lot of time looking to beef up support for the SEC’s climate disclosure rule.