This blog post is based off of remarks given at “Wall Street and the Next Recession: Protecting Main Street in the Next Economic Downturn,” an event co-sponsored by Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Popular Democracy at the US Senate. One thing is certain about markets: they go up and they go down.

Corporate profits are at record highs and unemployment is below 5 percent, yet 40 percent of Americans say that they would not be able to meet a $400 emergency. For too long we’ve been guided by the 50-year-old myth that fewer regulations and lower taxes on corporations and the wealthy will lead to economic growth

Companies today are not working the way that most Americans, policymakers, or the media think that they do. To fight inequality, we need to rewrite the laws that guide corporations. We must first, however, change the way that people understand the role of the American firm in our economy and explore how we can deploy

One justification made by proponents of stock buybacks is that the practice is an effective way for funds to flow from companies that do not “need” the cash out to shareholders, who will then invest it in companies that are issuing new shares to finance firm activity. Does this explanation show up in the data?1

Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced the STOP Walmart Act, which prohibits large companies from engaging in stock buybacks unless they make serious investments in their workers. While the act takes aim at Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, it highlights the theme of my work: that excessive giveaways to

The 2016 corruption scandal at Wells Fargo, in which executives pressured employees to meet “wildly unrealistic sales targets,” created a work environment described as “relentless pressure.” Once revealed, the massive fraud committed against millions of consumers led to congressional hearings, substantial fines by state and federal regulators, and a series of announced changes by Wells

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 4, 2018 CONTACT: Mariam Ahmed, mariam.ahmed@berlinrosen.com   THE CALL TO REPLACE SHAREHOLDER PRIMACY: RESHAPING CORPORATE LAW TO PROMOTE WORKERS’ INTERESTS, A BETTER ECONOMY Roosevelt Institute brief calls for decentering shareholders in corporate decision-making NEW YORK, NY  – The Roosevelt Institute today released a new issue brief, Towards ‘Accountable Capitalism’: Remaking Corporate

Editor’s Note: On August 15, 2018, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, legislation that would require corporations to consider the interests of all stakeholders within the firm—not only shareholders—in company decisions. Corporations are made up of a wide range of stakeholders: workers, managers, executives, and shareholders. Currently, only executives and shareholders have the

Why This Matters is a series from Roosevelt staff connecting our individual work—from papers to reports and everything in between—to our broader vision of creating a better, more equitable economic and political system. This series will give readers the top takeaways from our latest writing and thinking, with a focus on why they matter as we

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2018 CONTACT: Alexander Tucciarone, atucciarone@rooseveltinstitute.org, 516-263-9775   NEW REPORT: U.S. CORPORATIONS ARE SPLURGING ON STOCK BUYBACKS WHILE WORKER WAGES STAGNATE It’s about priorities: McDonald’s could pay its 1.9 million workers $4K more per year with money it spent on buybacks   NEW YORK, NY – At a time when highly profitable