“The FSOC and Treasury must pivot from this meeting and push lagging regulators to turn today’s words on climate into bold and timely action. At its next meeting, the FSOC should take the concrete steps we recommend in the Climate Roadmap. There’s still time to act, but no more time to delay.”
— Alex Martin, Senior Policy Analyst, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund
The “Climate Roadmap for U.S. Financial Regulation,” from Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and Public Citizen, outlines how Biden appointees can protect investors, workers, and the economy from the escalating risks caused by the climate crisis, while also shifting the regulatory framework towards one that promotes the transition to a low-carbon future.
AFR released a recommended set of systemic reforms outlining steps to create a safe and just financial system. These include both reversing the deregulation of the Trump years and taking positive steps to create a far more secure and inclusive financial system. The full document
The Opportunity Zone tax break is likely to exacerbate the affordable housing crisis and displace residents of color and lower-income residents while rewarding rich real estate investors with a lucrative tax break, according to a new report by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Institute, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, Kansas City Tenants, and New York Communities for Change.
The Opportunity Zone (O-Zone) tax break was created by the 2017 Republican tax cut legislation. It was promoted as a way to incentivize investment in economically disadvantaged areas but it is marred by poor design and flawed implementation so that it will most likely provide tax breaks for investments in already booming cities and gentrifying neighborhoods. The program incentivizes investments that aim to maximize returns in lower-income areas where residents are vulnerable to economic displacement pressures.
We write on behalf of the undersigned organizations to urge you to include conditions in the next COVID-19 response legislation that require all organizations that receive federal financial support to retain workers, preserve workers’ rights, and institute policies and procedures to protect workers from exposure to the virus.
The Fed must aggressively attempt to retain institutional credibility as a neutral actor in our economic order with regards to the distributional effects of its policies. It should not help finance a merger wave that leads to large-scale consolidation of companies which would have been healthy competitors but for temporary impacts of the current crisis.
Note: On the afternoon this letter was sent the Federal Reserve announced it would be providing additional transparency in 13(3) facilities. See our comment linked here for earlier AFR Edcucation Fund communications with the Federal Reserve on this issue. Download a pdf of the letter
Critics also noted that while the central bank has to share some basic information about the loans, other details, such as how many employees the company has retained or the compensation for its chief executive, might never be shared publicly. “We should ask for the actual deal documents. Why wouldn’t you make those public?” said Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform.
His career is marred by a record of supporting dangerous deregulatory policies that have left our financial system ill equipped to face the economic challenges it is now confronted by. This includes efforts to weaken the Volcker rule that will further damage the resiliency of major financial institutions and a housing policy that treats market deregulation as the solution to our nation’s housing affordability crisis.