The problems the SEC identified include fund managers’ failure to make full and fair disclosure of conflicts of interest, charging improper fees, and failure to implement policies to prevent staff from trading on material non-public information. In other words, the SEC’s examinations have shown that private equity and hedge fund managers are consistently engaged in self-dealing and overcharging investors, like pension funds that provide for the retirement security of millions of Americans.
Private equity firms often profit from mass incarceration and they expand inherently racists business practices in communities of color. Private equity is behind manufacturers of weapons used against people protesting police brutality against the Black community.
Fact Sheet: Private Equity Industry Poised to Profit from the Federal Reserve’s New Lending Programs
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.
Unless Congress and regulators act, private equity will shed its nonperforming assets and feast on new ones. J. Crew is the latest example.
Private equity firms loaded J. Crew with debt and hid assets away from investors and creditors.
Preppy retailer cannot survive retail and coronavirus economic downturn saddled by private equity-imposed financial burdens.
Yesterday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rejected the proposed private equity takeover of the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the non-profit that manages the non-commercial, charity, and non-profit internet domain registry for all Dot-Org websites. The decision recognized that the private equity debt loads and extractive business model would hinder Dot-Org’s ability to serve its non-profit clients without raising prices, compromising service, creating new revenue streams that comprise users’ data and privacy, or otherwise imposing unfair costs on 10 million organizations.
Now, with 26 million workers unemployed and countless businesses closing indefinitely, private equity firms are salivating at the potential business opportunities that might arise from the expected economic fallout. Unless we take immediate action to prevent it, private equity firms will take advantage of this unprecedented crisis to make even greater asset grabs.
“Coronavirus distress is the ‘opportunity of the century’ for real estate investors,” according to a recent headline in The Real Deal, a New York real estate news publication. The article quotes Meridian Capital Group’s David Schechtman saying “But I will tell you, real-estate investors — when you take the emotion out of it — many of them have been waiting for this for a decade.”
More and more as we go about our lives, the money we spend is siphoned off to enrich Wall Street firms. Private equity’s pet profiteering is just one way these investors have taken over so much of the economy and our daily lives.
Policy Recommendations: Critical Post-CARES Act Financial Policy Steps to Respond to the Coronavirus
Americans for Financial Reform released a set of financial policy recommendations for Congress to fix the problems and loopholes in the CARES Act, to further protect and support individuals, families and communities in the face of this crisis, and to lay the groundwork for an equitable and sustainable economic recovery.