Hundreds of companies owned or backed by some of the most well financed private equity firms in the US secured an estimated $5.3 billion in public funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), reveals a new investigation published today.
Today, the House Ways and Means committee released its draft plan for the Build Back Better economic package. It includes many crucial spending items, and some positive tax provisions. But, overall, it fails to meet the moment. Among other things, the package leaves out revenue-raising proposals from the Biden administration that would advance racial and economic justice. We need more dramatic change to the status quo, which benefits Wall Street and the super-rich and harms the rest of us.
Americans for Financial Reform mourns the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and our thoughts are with his family, friends, and the workers for and alongside whom he fought for decades. President Trumka was committed to the fight for Wall Street accountability as an important ingredient of advancing worker rights and racial and economic justice, and under his leadership, the AFL-CIO has been a key pillar of the fight for a fairer, financial system. We will continue to be inspired by him as we continue to work for economic justice and racial equity.
Americans for Financial Reform today applauded the introduction of the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act of 2021, legislation that would extend the 36 percent APR interest rate cap on payday and car-title lenders in the Military Lending Act (MLA) to cover all Americans.
The Securities and Exchange Commission should use the full scope of its authority to increase transparency and reduce hidden risks to investors and markets from the private equity industry, according to a letter from 15 public interest groups.
The Federal Reserve has announced the results of its 2021 bank stress tests. Since then, these results have led a steady parade of the largest banks in the country to announce dramatic increases in dividends. The stress tests will also enable greater share buybacks and other capital distributions by banks. This will enrich senior executives and large shareholders, while putting financial stability at risk.
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) released its final rule under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) related to helping homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule contains important consumer protections to help stave off unnecessary foreclosures, but the time period for the rule’s foreclosure protections should be extended and the Bureau should vigorously enforce it to ensure homeowners receive the intended protections.
“Investors know that climate change is a threat that some companies aren’t taking seriously enough. They need information that lets them better understand climate risks and opportunities to see who they can trust to thrive in a low-carbon future economy.”
–Alex Martin, Senior Policy Analyst, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund