Wall Street private equity firms have grown from $1 trillion in 2008 to nearly $4.5 trillion today, exerting enormous influence in critical sectors of the economy. Private equity landlords have led the way in corporate landlords displacing tenants by neglecting properties while raising fees and rents. Private equity ownership in healthcare has led to the shuttering of safetynet hospitals and higher death rates in nursing homes. Private equity ownership of retail chains has cost over half a million retail jobs. And private equity firms own around $216 billion in energy and fossil fuels, making them a significant driver of pollution and climate change. Private equity is now the primary driver of mergers and acquisitions in the US, including in grocery stores, threatening workers and consumers as they increase their ability to drive price increases and close stores. They have also undermined our democracy by buying up hundreds of local media outlets, looting the company for their real estate, gutting the newsrooms, and stripping millions of Americans from access to journalism critical to a healthy democracy. 

In sector after sector, they are responsible for some of the most harmful business practices, and the industry uses its immense resources and political power to maintain a rigged system that allows them to enrich themselves by taking huge risks while avoiding liability at the expense of everyone else. Together, the harms of private equity amount to a threat to our basic human and democratic rights to housing, healthcare, a livable climate, and access to food and information. 

Americans for Financial Reform, The NewsGuild, and UFCW locals will host a virtual Town Hall to engage TNG’s UFCW membership, AFR activists, and the general public, and the press about these critical issues.

This live webinar took place on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.