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May 11, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionCampaign FinanceTech

Biden's Ties to Immigration Enforcement Run Through BigTech

As we creep closer to November’s election, Democratic politicians–progressives and moderates alike–have largely fallen in line behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Even so, Biden must earn the vote of many progressive voters who are wary of his pro-corporate leanings. While Biden showed promise by teaming up with Sanders’ campaign on policy, there is still cause for grave concern. Just last week, the public learned that Larry Summers was advising the Biden campaign. Last month Biden’s donors put out a list of ideal candidates for senior-level administration positions, which included Wall Street big wigs such as BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink, Blackstone executive Tony James, and investment banker Mark Gallogly. Biden’s wealthy donors must be monitored in order to prevent corporate interests from capturing his transition-planning effort.

May 11, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

2020 Election/Transition

Presidential Power Map Provides Road Map to Potential 2020 Transition

The Revolving Door Project’s “Presidential Power Map” provides an easy-to-understand snapshot of 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates’ support by sector. By breaking down high-dollar support in this way, this tool encourages users to draw direct lines between big money fundraising and a president’s choices regarding personnel and executive power. Using the “Presidential Power Map,” members of the Revolving Door Project’s team have begun to tease out these connections and to consider what they might mean for the composition and priorities of a future administration.

May 11, 2020

Mariama Eversley

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionPrivate Equity

Will Biden Rein in Private Equity’s Hold on Healthcare?

Private equity firms play an increasingly central role in financing the healthcare industry. These firm’s investments in healthcare include everything from hospitals to ambulance transport companies to specialized medical services. The industry’s encroachment into healthcare is increasing costs, especially in circumstances where patients have few choices and are in need of immediate medical attention.

May 11, 2020

Mariama Eversley

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionPrivate Equity

Private Equity is Making COVID-19 in Nursing Homes Even Worse. A President Biden Could do Something About it.

Private equity (PE) owned nursing homes have a bad reputation. The industry’s, by now infamous, cost-cutting strategies have been shown to lead to measurable declines in patients’ health, safety, and wellbeing when undertaken in the nursing home context. The Carlyle Group’s acquisition of HCR ManorCare in 2011, for example, left patients with “overdoses, bedsores, [and] broken bones” before driving the company into financial ruin.

May 07, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyCoronavirus

Why is Congress Ignoring EIDLs?

Over the past several weeks, the SBA has been criticized for its administration and oversight of its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans designed to be spent on payroll expenses. But little attention has been paid to the SBA’s second COVID-response loan effort: the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. EIDLs provide small businesses affected by disasters with emergency loans. Over the past few decades, the SBA has provided EIDLs after major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.

April 29, 2020

Andrea Beaty

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyRevolving Door

Amazon Won’t Play Fair In Commerce Or Congress

Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that contrary to stated company policies, Amazon looks at proprietary information generated for third-party sellers on the platform when developing its house-brand offerings. Cases described to the Journal include Amazon engineers peeking at the total sales, profit margins, and shipping costs for a popular third-party car trunk organizer which sells on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon later used that data to help design its own, rival product. Third-party sellers have long believed that Amazon wasn’t looking at this information because…Amazon said it wasn’t looking at this information. Instead, the tech giant’s control of both the Marketplace and its own house brands grants it an anti-competitive advantage over smaller sellers who depend on Amazon’s marketplace to survive. They can’t check all of their competitors’ stats on a whim to figure out how to drive them out of business.

April 28, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

The SBA Was Never Prepared to Handle This

Many Americans might not have heard of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) before COVID-19. In fact, the small executive agency has been involved in the federal government’s response to some of the largest economic crises and natural disasters over the past two decades. This time around, the SBA has been thrust front and center as it attempts to administer one of the largest loan programs in our nation’s history. But if our Congressional leaders had spent time understanding the SBA’s limitations, perhaps they would have paused before giving the agency free rein to hand out billions of taxpayer dollars.

April 28, 2020

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

In Interview, Donna Shalala Does Nothing to Alleviate Progressives' Concerns

Nancy Pelosi shocked onlookers earlier this month when she named freshman Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) to the CARES Act oversight panel. Shalala had not expressed interest in the position publicly, nor does she possess specialized expertise in financial policy, congressional oversight, or law enforcement. Pelosi’s choice discouraged those holding out hope that a spirited set of appointees could somewhat overcome the panel’s structural disadvantages.

April 15, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

ClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Freshman Legislators Advance a Courageous Plan to Address Economic Fragility

This crisis has shattered any illusions that our post-financial crisis framework is resilient enough to withstand the challenges of the future. Coronavirus has, in particular, uncovered one of our most fundamental, persistent weaknesses: our continued inability to anticipate and prepare for new financial risks. For this ill-preparedness, we have powerful actors like BlackRock, the asset management giant and political titan, to thank. In an effort to avoid more stringent regulation, BlackRock and others not only evaded scrutiny for their own contributions to systemic risk, but virtually destroyed the mechanisms designed to examine such risk across the wider economy.

April 07, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Independent Agencies

March 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

The federal government’s independent federal agencies receive too little attention relative to their importance to our collective safety and prosperity. The Revolving Door Project has worked through multiple channels to shed light on these overlooked agencies and the threats that they face. We hope public education will generate pressure to safeguard the independence of these agencies and ensure that they are staffed with advocates for the public interest rather than corporate insiders.