Category Archives: In the News

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.”

In The News: Wall Street Braces for More Rules With Trump-Era FDIC Chief Gone (Bloomberg News)

“Having a Fed vice chair for supervision is crucial to a progressive agenda,” said Renita Marcellin, a senior banking policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, which has called for a halt on all bank mergers, more rules for cryptocurrency firms and a crackdown on the private equity industry. “There’s a lot more to do than simply repairing the damage caused by Trump regulators.”

In The News: Who’s Afraid of Saule Omarova? How a Joe Biden nominee became the target of a ludicrous red-baiting campaign.

“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.”

In the News: Private equity’s terrible impact on New Jersey’s nursing homes (The Star-Ledger)

“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.

In The News: Wall Street Insider Turned Tough Market Cop: Biden’s Pick To Head SEC (NPR)

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.”

In The News: Yellen Readies Big Changes for Treasury (The New York Times)

“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.”