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The Center for Corporate Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization working to curb corporate abuses and make corporations publicly accountable.
In the June 8 issue of The Nation, William Greider introduced "bold ideas for a new economy," a collection of stimulating articles, including pieces by numerous CCP advisors and colleagues. Topics covered include benefit corporations (learn more), a speculation tax (learn more), proposals to support publicly owned state banks (learn more here and here), reform limited liability laws, revive anti-trust laws and restructure failed corporate economic models -- a theme we touched upon here.
We told you so. The New York Times recently reported (Adam Liptak, "Justices Offer Receptive Ear to Business Interests," 12/18/20) that during the past session the Roberts Court sided with corporations 13 out of 16 times. (The story is based in part on research conducted by the Constitutional Accountability Center.) It's time We the People took back our Constitution, first by reversing the ongoing expansion of Corporate Speech rights. Find out how you can get involved at Free Speech for People and Move to Amend.
New Report Describes How to Restructure Citi in the Public Interest. On 3/4/10 Citi CEO Vikram Pandit told the Congressional Oversight Panel that Citi is "fundamentally different from the company we inherited when I became CEO," pointing to increased cash reserves (from a massive "yard sale") and a substantial reduction in the bank's "exposure to risky assets." With the company's stock price rising in recent months, it appears that investors agree. Yet reports that Citi is "better" may still be premature. For instance, in December, Bloomberg reported that despite paying back tens of billions in TARP loans, Citi still holds $617 billion in troubled assets. In addition, the Treasury's most recent report indicates that the notional value of Citi's derivatives is still at least 30 times the total underlying value of its assets. Moreover, it seems fair to ask how anyone can really have a handle on the company's balance sheet given how much of its operations exist in the shadows. For instance, GAO's most recent survey indicates that Citi has the most offshore tax haven subsidiaries of any Fortune 100 company.
Regardless of its financial status, many experts agree that the government should leverage its remaining share and break up Citi and other "too-big-to-fail" institutions in order to stabilize the financial system and make it serve more productive sectors of the economy. With that in mind, for our new report, Restructuring Citi in the Public Interest. we asked a variety of experts how the bank should be broken up, and to what purpose.
Some are saying that President Obama sold out to Wall Street. True or not, his response to the financial collapse has been too cautious. The president's recent proposal to make big bailed-out banks pay taxpayers back is a good step forward, but he should also follow his own suggestion to tax speculative financial transactions by supporting the "Make Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act of 2010," H.R. 4191, which would tax speculative transactions, including derivatives trades (95% of which are held by the 5 biggest banks). To learn more go here and here. For other steps that Congress should take, go here.
CCP's Reaction to Obama
Administration's Executive Pay Policy (2009)
Stop the War Profiteers:
Building A Long-Term Challenge to Corporate Power:
Also, be sure to read "Using Charters to Redesign Corporations in the Public Interest" (2010) and "Revisiting Corporate Charters" (Published in 2007 by Corporation 2020) The two papers build on an earlier paper called "Corporations and the Public Purpose."
In 2007, the Center for Corporate Policy helped develop the Strategic Corporate Initiative -- a long-term approach to bringing corporations back under public control. To learn more about the SCI report, see Corporate Ethics International's description of the project.
One of the policies identified in the SCI report as key was Public Funding of Elections, which would make it easier to challenge corporate-funded candidates in elections. Public funding has been successful in a growing number of states and cities. Federal candidates should co-sponsor or pledge their support for the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 1285) and (H.R. 7022) -- which were both reintroduced in the current session of Congress with bi-partisan support. To learn more, see You Street and Public Campaign.
Additional CCP Topics, Projects and Investigations:
CCP's List of
New: In 2006 CCP helped launch the Corporate Law Reform Network to support activists, legislators, business people and others interested in corporate transformation. To learn more, go HERE.