Sign Now: Become a Grassroots Co-sponsor of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act!
Watch Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Mark Pocan in an event that features the stories and experiences of real people working in retail, manufacturing, and healthcare -- all fighting back against Wall Street private equity greed.
Then join them in the fight by sending a direct message to your members of Congress demanding they co-sponsor the Stop Wall Street Looting Act using the tools on this page now!
Over the last decade, Wall Street private equity firms have gobbled up huge portions of the U.S. economy, laying off hundreds of thousands of workers and bankrupting businesses. They’re enriching themselves at the expense of working people, families, and communities.
Since 2008, these Wall Street firms have grown from controlling $1 trillion in assets to an astonishing $7.4 trillion. They’re playing by a rigged set of rules that allows a handful of people to extract vast wealth at everyone else’s expense.
The firms take over companies, loot them of their most valuable assets, make millions, and then leave them bankrupt, depriving workers of jobs and, sometimes, pensions too. Or they extort patients, small businesses, and consumers through monopoly prices for services like health care, software, or even -- no kidding -- cheerleading tournaments.
The good news is we have legislation that will stop this outrageous behavior -- the Stop Wall Street Looting Act. Please add your name as a grassroots co-sponsor now!
The bill would:
Make private equity executives legally liable for the damage they cause. The private equity model provides unique advantages that allow its executives to avoid responsibility for the financial and legal liabilities incurred by the companies they control. This lack of accountability creates incentives for activities that harm workers and communities. There is no plausible public policy reason to allow it to continue.
Stop looting that enriches private equity executives at the expense of workers, communities, and businesses. Private equity executives take money for themselves out of the businesses they own. Their tactics include paying themselves fees for nonexistent services and quickly converting the assets of the companies they have bought into dividends for the private equity firm. This leaves the companies without resources to invest in sustaining and growing their businesses, or paying workers fairly. The bill stops specific kinds of looting, and its accountability measures sharply reduce incentives to pursue a broader range of extractive practices.
Close tax loopholes - including the carried interest loophole that lets Wall Street executives pay lower tax rates than teachers, firefighters or fast-food workers - and change rules that encourage predatory financial activities. The tax rules, as currently written, create incentives that make it more profitable for private equity executives to burden the businesses they buy with debt. The carried interest loophole also allows them to avoid their fair share of taxes on the money they take in, and to pay lower rates than teachers or firefighters or other working people. The bill ends these unfair advantages. It also addresses the problem of debt-driven takeovers. Wall Street players that arrange corporate loan securitizations, which frequently fund leveraged buyouts, would have to retain a share of the risks, to make it harder for them to leave others to pay the consequences if things go wrong.
Protect workers if companies go bankrupt. The bill revises bankruptcy laws so that workers get paid severance and pension contributions they were promised, and so that worker wages and benefits owed are a higher priority. It also prevents bonuses and special payouts to executives when workers are left high and dry. If the assets in the bankruptcy estate are insufficient to ensure that workers are treated fairly, it allows courts to pursue the wealth of private equity general partners who actually controlled the company.
Require private equity firms to report honestly to investors about costs and returns. Too often, private equity fund managers use incomplete or inaccurate information to attract money from outside investors like pension funds. The bill updates securities laws to require private equity firms to be clear and honest about the fees and expenses they charge and to disclose much more financial information about the firms they buy and own. And it strengthens requirements that PE executives put the interests of the investors whose money they manage ahead of their own.
Add your name! Become a grassroots co-sponsor of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act to stop predatory practices by these Wall Street giants.
From: [Your Name]
I add my name as a grassroots co-sponsor of the Stop Wall Street from Looting Act.
Private equity kingpins have come to wield enormous influence over the American economy, often with terrible consequences for workers and communities. We need effective rules of the road to stop predatory practices by these Wall Street giants.
I call on you to pass this critical legislation and protect consumers and investors from the predatory capitalism of Wall Street private equity firms.