Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and Consumer Federation of America, Food & Water Watch, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Public Citizen sent a letter sharing their grave concerns with the justification and potentially calamitous precedent contained in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC’s) proposed rulemaking for the Investment of Customer Funds by Futures Commission Merchants and Derivatives Clearing Organizations. This proposal would expand the list of permitted investments for customer funds to include foreign debt which could put customers at undue financial risk — avoiding such risk was the rationale for prohibiting these transactions in 2011 after the MF Global meltdown.
Increased capital requirements in the Fed, FDIC, and OCC’s Large Bank proposal strengthen the banks’ ability to withstand stresses that would otherwise imperil their financial viability and hurt depositors, customers and the economy. Robust capital levels prevent financial crises that have vastly disproportionate impacts on Black, LatinX and other underserved communities. AFR strongly urged the agencies to move forward on these proposals as more well-capitalized banks are better able to provide credit to customers and communities, advancing economic justice and helping the economy to work better for everyone.
Americans for Financial Reform is calling on Congress and banking regulators to address the repeated mishaps and losses in the $2.5 trillion syndicated “loan” market following a court ruling today. The 2nd circuit appeals court affirmed a lower court decision that syndicated loans are not securities and therefore banks are not liable for clear mis-statements and omissions when selling the debt to investors. The original case highlights the risky nature of the debt behind syndicated loans.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund submitted a comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) supporting its proposal to prohibit conflicts of interest in securitizations. Such conflicts were at the heart of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 leading to trillions of dollars in losses across the financial system and irreparable harm to millions of homeowners. Now, with the growth in securitizations such as those backed by commercial real estate and other assets, the SEC’s proposals can ensure that similar practices do not happen again at the harm of investors and others.
AFREF, the Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project, and Public Citizen led a letter with 22 additional signatories to the agencies tasked with implementing section 956 of Dodd-Frank. That section tasked six agencies with promulgating regulations to prevent incentive-based executive compensation that encourages “inappropriate risk” by May 2011. Almost 12 years later, we don’t have a final rule. The letter was sent to regulators ahead of congressional hearings that will examine recent bank failures.
AFREF and Demand Progress Education Fund attended a meeting of the Market Risk Advisory Committee for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. There, AFREF/DPEF staff gave remarks on digital assets, including recommendations to the Committee regarding research and analysis into proper regulatory oversight of the digital assets sector. Recommendations included research into cybersecurity risks associated with crypto platforms and crypto derivatives, as well as a review of due diligence processes conducted by the CFTC and other regulators when CFTC registered entities involved in digital assets are acquired by another firm.
AFREF and Demand Progress Education Fund submitted comments to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in response to the agency’s request for information regarding the risks, limitations and purported benefits of blockchain technology (including regarding central bank digital currencies), to help inform the government’s research and development agenda on blockchain. The submission raised concerns about the technological limits and risks of blockchain as used for both financial and non-financial applications, as well as a variety of risks, and urged the OSTP to take a more balanced and sober look at blockchain in view of these limitations.
AFREF led a letter with 29 signers to the Securities and Exchange Commission reiterating the important need to pass a strong set of final rules related to requiring private fund advisers to disclose a complete breakdown of fees/expenses, assumptions used to calculate returns, and the existence of side letters to investors.
The letter is also urging the SEC to finalize a strong set of rules related to requiring private fund advisers over a certain size to report more detailed information about their holdings confidentially to the SEC so that the SEC and other financial regulatory agencies have much greater insight into the risks in the $21 trillion private fund space where there is currently little visibility in order to better safeguard the financial system.
AFREF sent a letter in support to the Securities and Exchange Commission on its proposal to better protect investors and the financial system from the problems in the $21 trillion open-end fund market.
AFREF sent a letter in support of proposals from both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission that would provide the agencies and by extension the Financial Stability Oversight Council with additional information from the $18 trillion private fund industry related to: more specific details about their holdings in digital assets, more granular data around derivatives and swaps that reference corporate debt and information about the base currencies their holdings are denominated in. Such information will help regulators ensure that they have a clearer picture into the holdings and risks posed by the $18 trillion private fund industry in order to be able to react proactively to any risks that may threaten the financial system.