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.”
The explosion of low-quality lending has brought debt loads in corporate America to record highs, a development that is likely to bring, in the coming years, a wave of defaults, slower growth, future job losses, and potential instability stemming from the utter opacity of this business. Despite the exponential growth in subprime corporate debt, our laws and regulations have not kept up, leaving policymakers and regulators in the dark as to the exact size of this market and where various risks may exist that could affect other financial institutions, companies, and their workers.
Washington, D.C. — The Federal Reserve and other banking regulators made the right call Tuesday by issuing a warning regarding the risks that crypto-assets pose to banking organizations. There is widespread volatility, fraud risk, legal uncertainties, unfair and deceptive practices, run and contagion risks, high levels of concentration and interconnections between firms, and poor risk management and governance found throughout the industry – all of which spells danger for investors and consumers alike.
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.
Climate change is a risk multiplier that exacerbates racial and economic inequality, and it is progressing at an alarming rate. Acute and increasingly frequent climate-related disasters, such as wildfires and hurricanes, as well as chronic issues such as heat stress, sea level rise, and drought,
Letters to Regulators: Letter to the SEC on Standards for Covered Clearing Agencies for U.S. Treasury Securities and Application of the Broker-Dealer Customer Protection Rule With Respect to U.S. Treasury Securities Fund Advisers
AFREF submitted a comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 27th supporting its proposals that would centrally clear the $27 trillion U.S. Treasury market, one of the largest and most systemically important markets in the world.
Shockingly, despite the Treasury market’s importance, no one regulator has complete visibility into this market and the SEC’s proposals move closer to implementing the Inter-Agency Working Group on Treasury Market Surveillance’s (IAWG) recommendations to give regulators such as the SEC and the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) greater visibility and oversight.
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.
Washington, D.C. – The record Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settlement with Wells Fargo over widespread wrongdoing in providing auto loans, mortgages, and deposit accounts represents an opportunity for all federal regulators to force durable change at the oft-penalized megabank.
Letters to Regulators: Letter in Support of FIO’s Proposed Climate-Related Financial Risk Data Collection
AFREF led comments to the Federal Insurance Office in support of their proposed “Climate-Related Financial Risk Data Collection” from insurers. AFREF supports this data collection because the increasingly prevalent and severe weather hazards caused by climate change pose a massive threat to the housing stability, affordability, and safety of Americans nationwide. Purchasing insurance policies is one of the few actions individuals can take to protect their property from the effects of climate-driven natural disasters. Therefore, the cost and availability of insurance is deeply related to a household’s monthly housing costs and their ability to recover from damages following severe weather.
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.”