Fair Share's Nathan Proctor published an opinion piece on Boston's NPR website connecting the opioid epidemic in the United States to the problem of anonymous shell companies, used to launder money and finance crime. Jubilee USA works to stop money laundering and corruption by supporting policies that give law enforcement access to the names of the true owners of these anonymous companies.
As Nathan puts it, "As we fight to save lives from opioids, we should leave no stone unturned — which should include the rocks under which drug cartels hide their money."
In March, a California Superior Court judge ruled Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit company offering postsecondary education through its Heald, Everest and WyoTech schools, had misrepresented its programs, job placement rates, and debt collection practices. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in May of 2015 and is now defunct, was levied with more than $1.1 billion in fines and restitution.
Jubilee USA works to stop predatory student lending practices and supports policies that promote responsible student lending and borrowing.
“Predatory financial behavior should not be part of our higher education system,” said Andrew Hanauer, Jubilee USA’s Campaigns Director. "Promoting responsible student lending and borrowing isn't just good for our students, it benefits our entire economy."
In response to the ruling and the closure of Corinthian campuses, the U.S. Department of Education in June proposed new regulations that would allow student borrowers relief from repayment of loans taken based on misleading information from a school or university. A final rule is expected later in 2016.
The Dept. of Education also established the Student Aid Enforcement Unit to resolve student claims of misrepresentation by higher education institutions.
Sasha Orloff, CEO and co-founder of the financial services company LendUp, wrote an op-ed in The Hill detailing his support for new proposed regulations on “payday” lending. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a rule that promotes responsible lending and borrowing to vulnerable consumers who are unable to repay short-term and high cost loans.
LendUp would be affected by the CFPB's proposed rule, but they view the rules as necessary restrictions to encourage responsible lending and borrowing. LendUp offers small-dollar, short term loans, but says on its website that it promotes "sustainable" lending practices to avoid trapping consumers in cycles of debt. LendUp says it decreases a customer’s interest rates over time to reward repayment and responsibility, "graduating" borrowers into financial security.
Below is a blog post on the connection between financial secrecy, taxes and poverty from our partners at Oxfam America. Kathleen Brophy dives deep into an analysis of the sale of a large copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, showing how the Congolese government collected no tax from the $2.65 billion transaction:
"Last week, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists unveiled a collection of new stories in their latest Panama Papers leak, this time with a focus on Africa. The stories reveal new details about illicit financial flows and the extractive industries, showing how multi-billion dollar oil and mining deals across the continent serve to make the rich even richer while providing no benefits to some of the world’s poorest populations.
So what exactly does this mean? How is it that billions of dollars are being made off of Africa’s natural resources without benefitting African populations? For multinational oil and mineral companies the answer is simple: separate the actual from the transactional."