The 18 organizations urge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to prioritize rebuilding its auditing and enforcement capabilities in order to tackle systemic tax abuses, including in particular those by the private equity industry. The private equity industry has generated greater untaxed revenues over the past decades by structuring their funds to avoid taxes and through a strategy of misclassifying certain earnings, exploiting tax loopholes like carried interest, and utilizing complex and opaque business structures to shield earnings from IRS scrutiny. We applaud President Biden’s plans to fund the IRS and tax enforcement more robustly and believe that these needed changes are a strong argument for such additional resources.
AFR has outlined issues around Payment for Order Flow, potential market manipulation by institutional investors, explosive growth in options trading volumes, the increasing gamification of stock trading by retail brokers, and a re-examination of broker capital rules.
The Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund is strongly urging the SEC against raising the quarterly reporting requirements for institutional investors 35-fold that would take away up to 90% of the existing reporting that is vital to market participants and researchers alike.
Voters support continued reform of Wall Street, and that conviction extends to the private equity industry, according to a new poll by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting. Majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans, oppose the predatory tactics of private equity industry, and support legislative proposals aimed at correcting its abuses.
AFR’s Senior Policy Analyst Alexis Goldstein appeared on CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday, April 26th to discuss how the Trump Administration’s tax plan would benefit Wall Street and leave ordinary American workers behind. “We have two former bankers from Goldman Sachs announcing a tax plan that–from the details that we do know–will dramatically cut taxes for big banks like Goldman Sachs,” Goldstein said.
“Again and again, activist hedge funds have used sneak attacks to accumulate large stakes in public companies and then cashed out quickly at the expense of workers, communities, and the long-term viability of the company itself. The Brokaw Act is a sensible and badly needed response to this problem. With the introduction of their bill, Senators Baldwin and Merkley have struck an important blow against the immediate-profits-at-all-costs mentality that has become such a huge obstacle to long-term investment in our country.”
“In a stroke of brilliant financial maneuvering Lone Star bundled some of the mortgages into bonds and sold them to investors, immediately booking large profits… ‘Lone Star has bought these loans at a discount from the government–-in effect, they got principal reduction. But they are not passing this benefit on to homeowners or communities,’ says Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.
“Hedge funds were major traffickers in the toxic securities that brought down the financial system eight years ago. Because many of them now market aggressively to pension funds and institutional investors, ordinary retirement savers can lose big when hedge funds fail to generate returns extravagant enough to justify their extravagant charges. More and more of these funds use stealth tactics to build up potent but undetected market positions, enabling them to aggressively bring about the results they’re seeking — results that serve their interests at the consistent expense of workers, communities, and the wider society.”