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WHO WE ARE

ReFund America is a project of the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE). The ReFund America Project tackles the ongoing impact that the financial crisis has had on the financial health of America’s cities and provides a dedicated campaign team to help local organizations restore the balance of economic power to Main Street.

RESEARCH

ReFund America Project’s reports and research materials.

OUTLOOK NEGATIVE

How Ratings Agencies Punish Local Governments, Create Huge Profits for Wall Street,and Leave Public Employees and People of Color Holding the BagClick here to download the report.Outlook Negative on Scribd

WALL STREET’S POWER GRAB IN PUERTO RICO

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s debt restructuring deal has been a disaster for Puerto Ricans. 
Click here to view the English version of the report.
Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe. 
Wall Street’s Power Grab in Puerto Rico on Scribd

GOLDMAN’S STRONG MAN IN PUERTO RICO

Trump’s policy on Puerto Rico is a backdoor bailout for Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms.
Goldman’s Strong Man in Puerto Rico on Scribd

DOWN THE WELLS

Wells Fargo targeted Puerto Rico with billions of dollars in predatory payday loans that are crushing the island. 
Click here to view the English version of the report. 
Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.
Down the Wells on Scribd

BEWARE OF BANKERS BEARING GIFTS

Wall Street banks targeted Puerto Rico with predatory financial deals like toxic swaps that helped pad bankers’ bonus checks but added tremendous risk to the Commonwealth’s debt portfolio. As the federally-appointed Fiscal Control Board decides how to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt, it must put the interests of Puerto Ricans first. 
Click here to view the English version of the report. 
Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.
Beware of Bankers Bearing Gifts on Scribd

CASTING A WIDER NET

This report focuses on diversity within the financial services industry, and specifically on the role that investment consultants can play in advancing financial performance by valuing diversity.
 Click here to view the report.

THE FINANCIALIZATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Higher education in the U.S. is in a state of crisis. We see evidence of this crisis in huge cuts in funding for public schools, skyrocketing costs of attendance at both private and public schools, and increases in student debt burdens.
Click here to download the report.Financialization of Higher Education

TIME TO PAY THE PIPER

How deals involving hometown investment bank Piper Jaffray are draining millions from Minnesota cities, hospitals,state agencies, and non-profit organizations. 
Click here to view the report.

SCOOPING AND TOSSING PUERTO RICO’S FUTURE

Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) in June, which will create a Fiscal Control Board to oversee the Commonwealth’s finances. But in order for it to do its job fairly, the Control Board must understand how Puerto Rico came to be so deeply indebted in the first place. The ReFund America Project is releasing a series of reports investigating Puerto Rico’s debt.
Click here to view the English version of the report. 
Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.Scooping and Tossing Puerto Rico’s Future

PUERTO RICO’S PAYDAY LOANS

A fact sheet on Puerto Rico’s capital appreciation bonds (CABs). Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.

MUNICIPAL BANKING: AN OVERVIEW

This report lays out a broad framework for how municipalities can establish, fund, and operate publicly owned municipal banks based on principles of egalitarian, redistributive justice, worker rights, and more ecologically sound urban development.
Click here to download the report.

TURNED AROUND

A report on how the swaps that were supposed to save Illinois millions turned toxic.Click here to download the report.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD

Analysis of public pension investments in hedge funds, by RAP Director Saqib Bhatti and AFT’s Elizabeth Parisian
Click here to download the paper.
All That Glitters Is Not Gold: An Analysis of U.S. Public Pension Investments in Hedge Funds

OUR KIND OF TOWN

The City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools are trapped in a host of predatory municipal finance deals that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year. Instead of cutting services for residents, the city should look to reduce its financial expenses. 
Click here to download the report.OUR KIND OF TOWN

WISCONSIN’S DIRTY DEALS

Wisconsin faces a revenue crisis after irresponsible tax cuts produced a huge budgetdecit. State leaders are attempting to deal with the crisis though drastic cuts to vital infrastructure, such as public education. These proposed cuts follow years of reductionsto these same crucial services.
Click here to download the paper.Wisconsin’s Dirty Deals

DIRTY DEALS

The financialization of the United States economy has distorted our social, economic, and political priorities. Cities and states across the country are forced to cut essential community services because they are trapped in predatory municipal finance deals that cost them millions of dollars every year. 
Click here to download the report.Dirty Deals: How Wall Street’s Predatory Deals Hurt Taxpayers and What We Can Do About It

RIDING THE GRAVY TRAIN

In city after city, transit riders are facing fare hikes and service cuts. But while riders are forced to bear the costs of solving transit agencies’ budget problems, the big banks on Wall Street are gouging many of these same agencies and the governments that fund them for more than half a billion dollars each year through toxic deals known as interest rate swaps. Click here to download the report.Riding the Gravy Train

RESOURCES

Additional reports and resources from our partners.

The Looting of Oakland
How Wall Street’s predatory practices are costing Oakland communities millions and what we can do about it.

No Small Fees
Report by Fix LA Coalition
LA spends more on Wall Street than our streets.

I.O.U.
SEIU Local 284
How Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have shortchanged Minnesota Schools.

Leveraging New York’s Financial Power to Combat Inequality
New Day New York Coalition
New York is among the most unequal cities in the US. This inequality has become the most pressing issue in New York City and New York State. The good news is that New Yorkers are demanding action — and there’s a clear path to real, practical alternatives that can make New York fairer, more livable and more prosperous.

The Detroit Bankruptcy
Demos
To return Detroit to long-term fiscal health, the city must increase revenue and extract itself from the financial transactions that threaten to drain its budget even further.

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois
Even as every Illinoisan is being asked to carry the yoke, the state’s largest banks and corporations continue to horde their wealth.

Too Big to Trust?
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy
CenterBanks, Schools, and the Ongoing Problem of Interest Rate Swaps.


Underwater America
Haas Institute
How the so-called housing “recovery” is bypassing many American communities.

Home Wreckers
SEIU, PICO California ACCE, CRC
How Wall Street foreclosures are devastating communities.

The Wall Street Wrecking Ball
ISAIAH, Jewish Community Action, Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy
What foreclosures are costing Minnesotans and what we can do about it.

Newark Homewrecker
The impact of the foreclosures crisis on Newark.

PUERTO RICO

Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) in June 2016, which created a Fiscal Control Board to oversee the Commonwealth’s finances. But in order for it to do its job fairly, the Control Board must understand how Puerto Rico came to be so deeply indebted in the first place. The ReFund America Project is releasing a series of reports investigating Puerto Rico’s debt.

Wall Street’s Power Grab in Puerto Rico

May 25, 2017 
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s debt restructuring has been disastrous for Puerto Ricans. Click here to view the English version of the report. Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe. 

Goldman’s Strong Man in Puerto Rico

April 28, 2017
Trump’s Puerto Rico policy is a back door bailout for Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms. Click here to view the report.

Down the Wells

April 24, 2017 Wells Fargo sold Puerto Rico billions of dollars in predatory payday loans. Click here to view the English version of the report. Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.

There are many reasons why a person applies for a personal loan and even though others may think that a personal loan is daunting, getting one can give someone a lot of benefits especially if you are going to handle your loan accordingly.

Reasons to get a Personal Loan:

Personal loans have been the number one options in Singapore for those who are looking for a loan. Applying for a personal loan can have numerous reasons and here are five common reasons a borrower would opt to get a personal loan:

●    Making a home improvement

Home improvements can cost a huge amount of money. Thus some homeowners would apply for a personal loan to cover the costs of the project.

●    Refinancing debts

Debts can grow fast if you will not take care of it immediately especially the ones that have a high-interest rate that is why getting a personal loan to pay your debts is also a good idea.

●    Investment opportunities

There are instances when you are given a chance to take a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you can’t just let that opportunity ran away hence a personal loan may be the one to help you out. It may be used as well for workshops and seminars which can help you get the promotion you wished for.

●    Savings’ buffer

Whenever you are short with cash, you can’t simply use your emergency savings. Sometimes, we have to look for other sources such as the personal loan so you can use your emergency savings in more vital cases.

If you experience these situations or you only need money that would cover your expenses for the next few days or weeks, a personal loan can always come in useful. Although there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to a personal loan, we should look forward to its benefits and advantages.

When compared to other types of loans such as the car loan, mortgage loan and educational loan, the personal loan is more flexible and can be used in various ways. The repayment terms of a personal loan are also flexible, and the licensed moneylender such as those from www.moneylenderreview.com makes sure that you can afford the monthly repayment.

Not all banks and licensed moneylenders have the same interest rate and offer thus before you are going to get a personal loan, make sure that you can find the best offer in your area. Interest rates can be risky, and if you have applied for a loan with a high interest rate, you may have a hard time paying it and putting yourself to unpaid loans.

Aside from the interest rate, you must also check the lenders’ requirements, additional charges or fees and welcoming gift. Choosing the right loan won’t just let you want the best offer, but it can also help you in repaying your loan faster. Getting a loan is a responsibility. Therefore, we also have to do our part and follow the repayment terms the lender has given us for a smoother transaction.

The Advantages of Private Money Loans

Fast Funding
If you apply for a loan in a traditional bank, you’d have to wait for a few weeks to receive the funds. But the people often need instant access to money when a good deal pops up. The private money lenders from FiLife can quickly provide you with the funds because they understand your situation. They know that some businesses buy the properties and then sell it after making cosmetic changes. You’d be able to get the money within a few days or even hours if you apply for a loan from private money lenders.

Less Paperwork Required
The traditional bank loans require a huge number of papers to be signed. It’s quite a tedious task. You’d have to spend hours reading these papers. Thanks to the private money lenders that have made things easier by streamlining this process. You’d now have to sign only a few papers for this loan. And the money will be delivered to you instantly.

Flexible Loan Terms
If we talk about loan terms, the lenders in https://www.licensedmoneylender.loan/ offer more flexibility as compared to the traditional banks. The private money lenders will customize the loan terms based on your specific needs. So, it’s a great option for businesses that need quick funding for a project.

Beware of Bankers Bearing Gifts

February 8, 2017 
Wall Street banks targeted Puerto Rico with predatory financial deals like toxic swaps that helped pad bankers’ bonus checks but added tremendous risk to the Commonwealth’s debt portfolio. As the federally-appointed Fiscal Control Board decides how to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt, it must put the interests of Puerto Ricans first. Click here to view the English version of the report.  Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.

Scooping and Tossing Puerto Rico’s Future

August 31, 2016 
Wall Street banks convinced Puerto Rico to refinance the same debt over and over again, and charged hefty fees each time. Click here to view the English version of the report. Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.

Puerto Rico’s Payday Loans

June 30, 2016 
Banks sold the Commonwealth capital appreciation bonds, which are the government version of a payday loan. Puerto Rico will pay $33.5 billion in interest on $4.3 billion of underlying debt. 
Click here to view the English version of the report. 
Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de este informe.

CHICAGO & ILLINOIS

Turned Around

January 2016 A report on how the swaps that were supposed to save Illinois millions turned toxic.Click here to view the report.

Our Kind of Town

March 2015 The City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools are trapped in a host of predatory municipal finance deals that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year. Instead of cutting services for residents, the city should look to reduce its financial expenses. Click here to download the report.

PRESS

ReFund America Project in the News

Austerity in US brought on nation’s water crisis
RT America
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan and many other cities across the US go much deeper than budget cuts, but following the money is tough. To help, RT America’s Simone Del Rosario is joined by Carrie Sloan, a senior research analyst at the Refund America Project.

Chicago Has Spent Half a Billion Dollars on Police Brutality Cases—And It’s Impoverishing the Victims’ Communities
The Nation
Carrie Sloan writes in The Nation – Chicago’s police brutality victims and survivors are disproportionately Black, and it is no coincidence that Black communities are the most overpoliced and underinvested. The money cities save could instead be invested back in the communities that have been most impacted by police misconduct.

Labor Day
Talk Poverty
On today’s episode, we’re celebrating Labor Day – a holiday recognizing the American labor movement and achievements of American workers. Saqib Bhatti discusses the astronomical fees that cities pay for financial services and how cities should take a page out of the labor playbook by collectively bargaining with Wall Street to save money.

A Hedge Fund Sales Pitch Casts a Spell on Public Pensions
New York Times
New York Times Gretchen Morgenson writes about ReFund America Project’s report, “All That Glitters Is Not Gold.” Conducted by researchers for the American Federation of Teachers, the report examined the hedge fund performance of 11 large public pensions and found that these investments exacted a high cost, had laggard returns and generally moved in tandem with the overall stock market.

Chicago Newsroom
CAN TV
Ken Davis is joined by Saqib Bhatti, The Roosevelt Institute. They discuss “disaster capitalism”, how government austerity enables predatory lending to municipalities, and the possibility of a Chicago bankruptcy. This program was produced by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

Why Chicago won’t go bankrupt, Urban Sketchers Chicago, Fighting residential parking permits
WGN Radio
Mike Stephen talks with Roosevelt Institute fellow and ReFund America Project director Saqib Bhatti about his In these Times piece “Why Chicago Won’t Go Bankrupt—And Detroit Didn’t Have To.”

A New Plan for American Cities To Free Themselves of Wall Street’s Control
In These Times
Saqib Bhatti writes in In These Times – Arbitrary financial fees are sucking cities and states dry. But they can change the terms if they band together and bargain collectively.

Puerto Rico’s Payday Loans: The Shocking Story Behind Wall Street’s Role in Debt Crisis
Democracy Now!
A stunning new report by ReFund America Project reveals nearly half the debt owed by Puerto Rico is not actually money that the island borrowed, but instead interest owed to investors on bonds underwritten by Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

SUPPORT RAP

With your help, the ReFund America Project is shifting the balance of power in our cities and states from Wall Street to Main Street. We research the role of the financial sector in driving austerity, extracting wealth and resources from communities of color, and hijacking our democracy, and we work with community leaders, union members, policy experts, and public officials to develop, advocate for, and implement solutions that build power and wealth for our communities.

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