At a Nov. 16 forum co-hosted by AFR and the AFL-CIO, Sheelah Kolhatkar, author of the New York Times bestseller “Black Edge,” discusses the rise of a powerful new class of billionaire financiers who have used their vast reserves of concentrated wealth to rewrite the rules of capitalism and public policy.
“The issuer-pays model remains an incentive for raters to go easy on clients, says Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform… ‘As long as ratings agencies are both central to securities markets and face incentives to inflate ratings and mislead investors, they pose a risk to the financial system…'”
“Jay Clayton’s entire career of representing major Wall Street banks, advancing their interests at the expense of the public, helping them avoid accountability, stands in contradiction to the very mission of the agency he has been nominated to lead… Those who voted in favor of his appointment — both Democrats and Republicans –will have some explaining to do to constituents who are sick and tired of letting Wall Street continue rig the economy so all of the gains go to those at the very top.”
“Twenty-five top U.S. brokerage firms and insurance companies present their employees as trusted financial advisors putting client interests first even as their lobbyists argue in court that they are nothing more than commission-driven salespeople, according to a major new report from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR). The report also dissects how brokerage firms and insurance companies are systematically misleading unwary consumers.”
In the new political environment, it is likely that there will be a heavy emphasis on the capital formation mission of the SEC. The IAC should play a critical role in reminding the Commission that investor protection is crucial to stable and effective capital formation. …Improving financial entity disclosures is crucial if we are to improve market discipline for large financial entities and investor discipline for funds.
AFR and 5 other organizations urge Congress to reject HR 5424, a dangerous bill that would allow private funds to evade SEC examinations, and to distribute misleading and even fraudulent advertising materials.