The next COVID response legislation, must include clear conditions for all companies that receive Federal financial support that require worker retention and protection as well as limitations that ensure that government money will not be used to profit corporate insiders and Wall Street speculators.
Private equity funds could access government assistance for their portfolio companies while avoiding any responsibility to repay any debt or obligations to the public purse. Private equity firms could also tap government aid to finance leveraged buyout purchases of additional companies, using public money to load target companies with debt and drain their assets while avoiding any responsibility for paying that debt back.
It’s crucial the new House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis start oversight work as soon as possible. By doing so, the Subcommittee can make recovery efforts more effective and guarantee that government agencies are good stewards of public money.
Public advocates sent a letter to Congress in support of the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act, a proposal from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to prevent big corporations and Wall Street investors from exploiting the pandemic to further consolidate their economic and political power.
At the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, big banks will be paying some $13 billion in shareholder dividends. If this level of dividends continues for the rest of 2020, big banks could be permitted to pay out over $50 billion in dividends for 2020.