U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls on SEC to Tighten its Rules Governing Stock Buybacks and Increase Transparency of Executive Pay

“It is time to rewrite the rules of our economy so small businesses and average American families have a chance too, not just the wealthy and well‐connected.”

Today, in a speech on short-termism, or “quarterly capitalism,” U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to strengthen its oversight of stock buybacks and increase the transparency of executive compensation. 

“For 40 years, economic policies have rewarded Wall Street and the wealthiest with the promise that their gains would ‘trickle down’ to everyone else. It hasn't worked. Instead we have faced sluggish growth and economic insecurity for more and more Americans with all the gains going to the top,” Senator Baldwin said. “It is time to rewrite the rules of our economy so small businesses and average American families have a chance too, not just the wealthy and well‐connected.” 

On Monday, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to the SEC calling for increased oversight of stock buybacks. "There are growing voices from both inside and outside the investing community who see buybacks as an abdication of corporate leadership at best and a misallocation of resources at worst," Baldwin said. 

Tuesday’s event titled, “Hedge Funds & Private Equity: Transferring Wealth Upwards,” was sponsored by AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, American Federation of Teachers, and The Center for Economic and Policy Research. 

Senator Baldwin also highlighted tax reform legislation she introduced in June to close the carried interest loophole. In recent months, there has been growing bipartisan support for closing this tax loophole, which would generate more than $15 billion in revenue and help restore equality in our nation’s tax code by making sure earned income is taxed at the same rate, whether someone is an investment manager or school teacher.

“For far too long our tax code has been rigged by powerful interests to benefit millionaires and billionaires. As a result we have an economy that rewards only those at the top, while the incomes of ordinary Americans have flat lined,” Senator Baldwin said. “As middle class families live paycheck to paycheck, hedge fund managers on Wall Street continue to get tax breaks. That is not fair and it needs to change. We need to eliminate this loophole to make sure those at the top are paying their fair share so we can invest in an economy that creates jobs and improves the incomes of families struggling to get ahead.” 

On Wednesday, Senator Baldwin will be holding a press conference on Capitol Hill with House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) and members of the advocacy group Patriotic Millionaires to call on Congress to take up legislation to close the carried interest loophole. 

An online version of the letter is available here

An online version of this release is available here.

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