Weekly privatization report: The federal government is pushing charter corporatization | A privatized DC Metro? | and more

Here’s our weekly analysis of privatization in the news and in communities nationwide, in order by sector. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two prominent nationwide charter school networks, KIPP and IDEA, have netted huge grants from the federal government to fuel their expansion.
  • A plan has emergedfrom right wingers to privatize Washington’s Metro system, including the buses and the subway.
  • Democratic Senators are demanding answersfor who is responsible for conditions at privatized ICE detention facilities.

EDUCATION

1) National: Writing in Truthout, Ashley Smith reports that teachers’ movements are gaining community support by centering social justice. “First, they starve schools of funding, then claim that they are failing; finally, proposing charter schools as a solution. Privatization then drains even more funds from the schools. A study by In the Public Interest documented that charters drain $57.3 million a year from public education in Oakland, California. The same is true for countless cities in California. These charters are privately run, unaccountable to the public and almost entirely non-union. Teachers across the country are beginning to realize that these two sharks are our enemies, and we are taking action against both of them. ”

2) National: Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum reports that “two prominent charter school networks, KIPP and IDEA, netted huge grants from the federal government to fuel their expansion.” He says “the grants, announced last week, underscore the substantial role the federal government plays in helping charter schools expand. But they come at a perilous time politically for the charter school movement, which has seen its growth and popularity ebb in recent years. These networks’ plans for rapid growth might both run into—and fuel—political opposition, particularly in places where that growth will strain school districts’ finances.” 

3) National: Jeff Bryant of the Independent Media Institute’s Our Schools initiative joined Ed “Flash” Ferenc of America’s Work Force show (sponsored by AFL-CIO) to discuss the report he co-authored (with Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education), “Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers for a Ride.” [Audio, at 25:00]

4) National: Education Week reports that many online charter schools fail to graduate even half of their students on time. “Nationally, half of all virtual charter high schools had graduation rates below 50 percent in the 2016-17 school year. Thirty-seven percent of schools had graduation rates at or above 50 percent. (…) Out of the 163 schools, in some states, such as Indiana, not a single virtual charter school operating in 2016-17 had a graduation rate over 50 percent in the past four years.”

5) Arizona: Although lawmakers have axed a charter school expansion moratorium, a law that would change the charter school approval process is still alive. “AB 321, a bill to abolish the Achievement School District, is also still alive after an amended version passed the Senate Education Committee on committee deadline day. The Achievement School District was designed to take underperforming district schools and convert them into charter schools overseen directly by the state education department. The amended bill would still abolish the district as a whole but would allow any charter approved by July 1 to join the Achievement School District to continue with the transition to becoming a charter school. The school would simply fall under the oversight of the state charter authority rather than the Achievement District.”

6) CaliforniaThe Charter Task Force is facing a tight July 1 deadline to come up with proposals to reform the charter school system. “In addition to the pressure of coming up with its own recommendations, there is another timeline that the task force must keep an eye on: what is happening in the Legislature, where similar issues are being debated and acted on. If the task force does not come up with its recommendations by July it risks being outflanked by what happens there. Several bills limiting charter growth have already been introduced in the Legislature.”

7) Florida: Palm Beach County school board members are asking residents to oppose a proposed law (HB 7123) that would require the school district to share the $200 million annual windfall from a new property tax increase with the county’s charter schools. “The bill ‘potentially overrides the will of Palm Beach County voters, who overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure with explicit language to use their tax dollars for non-charter district schools,’ the resolution stated.” In an editorial, the Tampa Bay Times says “lawmakers won’t invest in schools or raise taxes. So local voters are doing it themselves. Now Republicans want to change the rules.”

8) FloridaA pollution cleanup location could become the site of a charter school. “The potential school site on Forest Street, a block from the interstate, once housed a city trash incinerator whose lead-laden ash contaminated nearby homes and businesses for many years. (…) That $192 million cleanup is still going on, and crews from a remediation operation named Project New Ground are still working at the former incinerator site. A city spokeswoman said contaminated soil excavated from other properties is stockpiled there until it’s trucked to a landfill for disposal, and clean replacement soil is stored there until it’s needed for backfill.”

9) Florida: A vegan charter school has been denied access to the federal lunch program because it won’t serve dairy. “‘We know how harmful it is for kids to be drinking milk and even the American Medical Association put out a memo in September telling the USDA to change guidelines for 2020 due to the high levels of lactose intolerance in African Americans and Asians,’ King Charter founder Maria Solanki told VegNews.” In February The Guardian reported on how big dairy is pushing fattier milks into schools. “Any government program is going to be a huge moneymaker for them and that includes schools,” said [Susan Levin, director of nutrition for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine]. “That’s where a lot of excess surplus product is dumped; it’s dumped in schools, it’s dumped in prisons.”

10) IllinoisChicago public schools are withholding millions of dollars from charter schools in a standoff. “At Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education meeting, members will be asked to approve a resolution that will set out how the school district wants to fund its charter schools. CPS Chief Operating Officer Arnie Rivera said once charter schools agree to have state law changed to align with the resolution, ‘we will cut the rest of their check.’”

11) Michigan: A Wayne county mother is suing a charter school, claiming its staff ignored sexual harassment of her daughter. “Keystone Academy is managed by American Heritage Academies, a charter school network based in Grand Rapids. The civil suit claims American Heritage Academies violated Title IX, a federal anti sexual discrimination law, by failing to appropriately address the abuse claims.”

12) PennsylvaniaThe Carlisle school board has voted to privatize the jobs of its instructional staff effective May 30. The board also directed the administration to re-examine the possibility of setting up a tiered pay structure for the aides who stay with the district through the contractor, ESS K-12 Education Staffing & Management Solution, taking into account their years of service with the district. The Sentinel reports that “with tears in his eyes, Sean Bates hugged an instructional aide. The fifth-grader spoke in a low, broken voice, telling Ann Marie Chaney how much he disliked what had just happened to her. The scene was emotional outside the large group instruction room of the Fowler building of Carlisle High School around 9:45 p.m. Thursday.”

13) Pennsylvania: The Williamsport Area School board has passed a resolution supporting two bills in the state legislature dealing with cyber charter school funding. “If passed, the bills would place funding on the parents of students who choose to attend cyber charter schools instead of on the district, provided that the district has its own cyber school program. In his report to the board, Dr. Timothy S. Bowers, district superintendent, told them he had met with legislators about Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 526 and the importance of passing the bills which would alleviate some of the budgetary concerns of districts. He noted the bills are currently stalled in committee.”

14) Rhode IslandProvidence community residents don’t want to lose the John Hope Settlement House to a proposed charter school. “The meeting at the South Side Cultural Center was occasionally heated, as the community’s attachment to the John Hope Settlement House runs deep and has historic roots. Many expressed doubt in the current board, and it is well known that John Hope has been a troubled institution for some time now. Still in addition to keeping the charter school out, many in attendance were also hoping to save and revitalize John Hope. (…) Many felt that the way the school is being organized is an attempt by West Side gentrifiers to exclude local, West End youth from the student selection process. There is some evidence of this.”

15) TennesseeA bill to establish a commission to authorize charter schools is headed to Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) desk. “Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, spoke out against the measure on the Senate floor, citing ongoing issues with charter schools in his district.  ‘I’m not a knee-jerk supporter of these schools because we’ve had charters that absolutely failed kids and needed to be closed,’ he said. ‘There are consequences for the rest of the district because it changes the community and the model that’s there.’”

16) Texas: Victims of a Houston charter school whose founders have been imprisoned for mail fraud and tax evasion are to receive more than $600,000 in restitution, the Justice Department reports. “At the time of the sentencing, the court heard that the couple embezzled millions of dollars in funds that were intended for the operation and function of the charter school and its programs. These included ‘money orders’ parents had submitted to pay for school field trips and student fundraisers, such as chocolate sales, book fairs, school carnivals and other school-related activities.”

INFRASTRUCTURE

17) California: ILWU 10 discusses “The A’s Port Stadium, Privatization & Gentrification In Oakland.” [Video, about a half hour; segment on privatization, ‘public-private partnerships’ and charter schools is at 20:00]. The Port of Oakland’s maritime industry is also “raising red flags over the Oakland A’s new waterfront ballpark plan, saying the 34,000-seat stadium and housing project would pose both a safety risk to ships and a threat to the port’s future as a major, regional economic engine.”

18) District of Columbia/National: DClabor.org reports that the Amalgamated Transit Union and its D.C. Local 689 “is blasting a reported plan hatched by right wingers to privatize Washington’s Metro system, including the buses and the subway.” Local 689 president Raymond Jackson said “if you sit in the windowless boardroom of Metro headquarters, you’d think ‘privatization’ is a silver bullet that will magically eliminate costs and restore ridership to its heyday. Nothing could be further from the truth.” ATU says “public transit is an essential public service not to be privatized.” [Video, about 2 minutes]

19) Maryland: Are more ‘public-private partnerships’ coming to Baltimore even after the defeat of water system privatization and even water bills of poor people? The Baltimore City Foundation is saying “Thrilled to announce the appointment of our new president @HyeSookChung. Ms. Chung will lead the Foundation & focus on leveraging innovative public-private partnerships to enrich the lives of Baltimoreans. Be on the look out for more updates! #PPPs.”

20) Missouri: Comptroller Darlene Green has accused Mayor Lyda Krewson and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed “of trying to help the cause of privatizing St. Louis Lambert International Airport by delaying an airport bond refinancing plan. ‘They are attempting to make the operations of the airport look less than professional, less than capable, so a privatization in their eyes would make more sense,’ Green said in an interview. ‘It is unconscionable.’”

Fifth Ward Alder Megan Ellyia Green says “the thing is, this isn’t just with the airport. I’ve never seen so much dysfunction in city government, so many people quitting.It feels like it’s being intentionally broken to incentivize voting for Better Together and push privatization of all of our assets.”

21) International: Felix Dodds, a writer, activist and futurist who has been active on the global water agenda has set out a plan for “Overturning the Credibility Gap in Traditional PPP: the ‘People-First’ approach for national and local governments.” He writes, “You can take a position that we should oppose all PPPs because there hasn’t been a global agreement on principles or perhaps take a different route which might actually get a better set of principles and that is the regional approach. (…) It cannot be about just about public and private working together better. It has to have meaningful and sustained consultation with and participation of end-users and other (local) stakeholders in decision making through a deliberative process, from design to implementation and evaluation, including prior to infrastructure project initiation. ” [Video, about an hour and a half]. See also this report.

22) Think tanks: Lawrence L. Martin of the University of Central Florida has researched “State public-private partnership (P3) legislation and P3 project implementation.” The paper “begins by defining P3s and discussing their increasing importance as a form of private-sector delivery of public facilities and infrastructure. The major policy and procurement requirements of state P3 legislation are then identified. Using the public works financing database of 301 P3 project closures between 1996 and 2016, the relationships between state P3 legislative policy and procurement requirements and P3 project implementation are explored. The study finds positive associations between 15 of 16 state P3 legislative policy and procurement requirements.” The paper costs $32. 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND IMMIGRATION

23) National: Watch the powerful testimony of Losmin Jiménez, project director and senior attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project of the Advancement Project before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission about the abusive treatment of immigrant prisoners at the CoreCivic-operated Eloy Detention Center. [Video, at 1:17, about 5 minutes; the full USCCR hearing is about 4 hours]. Written comments may be submitted to the commission through May 13 by email. The Southern Poverty Law Center is urging Congress to pass the DONE Act and the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act.

Watchdogs have cited lax medical and mental health treatment of ICE detainees. For an NPR report on the issues focusing on GEO Group see here. “Giselle says her father languished there for three months without his diabetes medication. Now, she says, the guards give it to him at odd times during the day and night. And, she says, ICE agents took his eyeglasses so he can’t read legal documents or write letters.”

See also the report by Disability Rights California, “There is No Safety Here: The Dangers for People with Mental Illness and Other Disabilities in Immigration Detention at GEO Group’s Adelanto ICE Processing Center.”

24) National: Democratic Senators are demanding answers on who is responsible for conditions at ICE detention facilities run by private, for-profit corporations. “Based on these concerns, it appears that there is no entity in charge of and taking responsibility for the conditions at ICE detention facilities,” they say in a letter. “The response to our investigation was distressing, revealing a failure at multiple levels. The two private contractors we asked for information refused to provide it, indicating that doing so was the responsibility of ICE. (…) And the Nakamoto Group responded to (the Homeland Security Department’s Office of Inspector General’s) identification of weaknesses in its inspection methodologies with information that OIG determined to be false and misleading.” They have requested a response by this Friday. 

25) National: The Trump administration is attempting to end the right to bond for certain asylum seekers. This would benefit private, for-profit prison companies such as the GEO Group by prolonging their incarceration. “This is both a heartless punishment against vulnerable people, and a potential back-door way for the administration to separate families. This decision must be reversed,” saidCharanya Krishnaswami, Americas advocacy director for Amnesty International USA.

26) National/Rhode Island: UMB Bank is suing the city of Central Falls and the Detention Facility Corporation in an effort to block the removal of federal immigrant detainees from the Wyatt Detention Facility. “The facility’s board of directors last week voted to temporarily suspend its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and asked that all ICE detainees be removed from the facility within seven days. The complaint filed in federal court in Providence on Wednesday on behalf of UMB Bank said the board’s decision could cost bondholders more than $130 million.” The City Council “has been leading the charge against the facility” in the wake of public protests. As a result of the lawsuit, the cityhas suspended the removal of ICE detainees

27) National: ICE has announced that the GEO Group-operated 432-bed annex at the Aurora immigration detention facility will remain open for at least another year. “The revelation that the facility was expanding into the annex drew the ire of both elected officials and immigrant-rights activists. ‘ICE’s decision to allow the expansion of its facility without so much as a hint of notice to local elected officials or the public is incomprehensible,’ Allison Hiltz of Aurora City Council said at the time. ‘I can think of only two reasons for keeping this a secret: fear of public backlash or incompetence on the part of its management team. And neither inspires confidence in their ability to responsibly oversee human lives.’”

28) National: The GEO Group’s First Quarter financial results announcement and conference call will take place on April 30. CoreCivic’s First Quarter financial results announcement will take place after market close on May 8 and its conference call will take place on May 9.

29) National: CoreCivic lobbyists Bart Verhulst and Jeremy Wiley have been busy shaking the money tree on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday the company filed a report saying it spent $370,000 lobbying on FY 19 and FY 20 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies—“provisions related to privately operated prisons and detention facilities,” and FY19 and FY 20 “appropriations for Department of Homeland Security— provisions related to privately-operated ICE detention facilities.” 

30) National: The National Consumer Law Center has produced a report on “the growing problem of ‘commercialized injustice’—consumer abuses perpetuated by companies profiting from the criminal legal system and mass incarceration. Although not always visible to people who do not live in heavily-policed communities or who are protected by other forms of privilege, the scale of private industry’s involvement in the contemporary criminal legal system is staggering. These companies provide a wide range of products and services, and operate in various relationships with the government.”

31) Maine: Brian Sonenstein, the co-founder of Shadowproof and co-host of the Beyond Prison podcast, informs us that “Maine, which has at last count around 2,400 people incarcerated, has already racked up over $15.6 MILLION in medical expenses by its health care contractor, Correct Care Solutions, in FY18.”

32) Ohio: The ACLU of Ohio has published a report on what they call the “Statehouse-To-Prison Pipeline,” highlighting the prevalence in Ohio of legislation introduced and passed by members of both parties to create new crimes, enhance sentences, and expand current criminal laws to include new situations and actors. “What too many legislators fail to grasp is their direct role in imprisoning tens of thousands of Ohioans and the huge impact this has on our communities, our families, and our economy. When pressed, legislators who introduce, sponsor, or vote for sentencing enhancement bills will often attempt to deflect criticism and concerns by saying the specific bill they support will have only a minimal negative impact on overcrowding and other problems. But all bills of this type contribute to the problem. It’s mass incarceration by a thousand cuts.”

PUBLIC SERVICES

33) National: Erin Biba of NBC News takes a look at the situation facing municipal governments and private waste management companies following China’s pullout from receiving recycled materials, which is presenting a huge challenge to recycling programs. “According to the NRDC’s Goldstein, there are a few ways that the U.S. can recover from the loss of China: ‘One thing that is needed is greater investment by private industry in, as well as government incentives for, new processing capacity for recyclables. (Some of that is happened, 16 paper mills have recently announced plans to expand to handle mixed paper and cardboard generated by US recycling programs.) And there is the failure of the federal government, as well as most states and cities, to step up their procurement of products made with recycled materials. That too would stimulate demand and therefore enhance the economics of municipal recycling operations.’”

34) National: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) comes out against the Choice Act and against Veterans Administration privatization. “She offered a full-throated defense of the agency and made clear whom lawmakers are really serving with the new legislation: ‘They are trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they are trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations and, ultimately, they are trying to fix the VA for a for-profit health-care industry that does not put people or veterans first. If we really want to fix the VA so badly, let’s start hiring, and fill up some of those 49,000 [staff] vacancies,’ Ocasio-Cortez continued, as nurses in scarlet scrubs and veterans roared back in agreement.” [Video, about 2 minutes]

35) National: Waste Management, one of the largest private contractors with municipal governments for trash and recycling services, is buying out Advanced Disposal Services for $2.9 billion, in the biggest industry consolidation in a decade. “Advanced Disposal went public in 2016 and is part-owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which, according to Refinitiv, owns around 19% of the company. Houston-based Waste Management is the largest solid-waste company in the U.S., with a market value of more than $40 billion. It owns or operates roughly 250 landfills, the largest network in the country.” [Sub required]

36) AlaskaAlaska State Employees Association Local 52 has filed suit against the state of Alaska “alleging the Department of Health and Social Services has violated bargaining agreements, state law and the Alaska Constitution as it seeks to privatize operations of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute” to Tennessee-based Wellpath. “The union’s actions are based on what it perceives as a breach of labor laws affecting employees, [Jake Metcalfe, the union’s executive director] said. ‘The state has gone ahead and signed a contract with a private employer and not given our members the contractual rights that they have, or the opportunity they have to show they can do the job cheaper and provide a better service,’ Metcalfe said.”

ASEA Local 52 has also written a cease and desist letter to Gov. Dunleavy (R). “The letter demands the administration halt plans to outsource public services without appropriate due process. (…) Wellpath brings a history of federal lawsuits and safety violations – almost 1,400 lawsuits were filed in the last ten years. State employees at API are deeply concerned that record will continue in Alaska, and the administration will force the sale of additional state services to other out-of-state contractors. ‘My concern for our members is this process will be repeated throughout state government,’ ASEA President Dawn Bundick explained. ‘Alaskan jobs and livelihoods are at stake. We need to fight for Alaskans first.’ Dunleavy has shown interest in outsourcing other facilities besides API, such as eldercare and the Marine Highway system. Many studies have shown outsourcing rarely produces the savings claimed by advocates, and often ends up costing taxpayers much more over the long run.”

37) Massachusetts: School bus drivers at First Student (Bay Path) have joined the Teamsters. “The solidarity that these First Student drivers maintained from start to finish in this organizing campaign is something to be very proud of,” Local 170 Secretary-Treasurer Shannon George said.

38) New Hampshire: Staffers and community members are fighting back against plans to privatize the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). The Union Leader reports that “CoreCivic is not proposing to operate the secure forensic psychiatric hospital, but is proposing a real estate-only solution, in which it would own the hospital and lease it to the state. The management and staffing of the facility would be carried out by the government or contracted to another vendor. CoreCivic does not currently own or operate any secure psychiatric hospitals.” The state “has struggled since the 1980s with the fact that its most challenging mental health patients have been housed at a secure unit in the state prison. The push toward a secure unit associated with the state’s psychiatric hospital has been motivated by a desire to get mental health patients out of the prison setting.” CoreCivic managing director John Malloy has been a paid lobbyist in New Hampshire,. 

39) Pennsylvania: Max Marin, writing in BILLYPEN, reports on the outsourcing of the jobs of cleaners, maintenance workers and security guards. “Since the 1990s, managing building service workers has been outsourced to a private company, to the tune of $14 million a year. Big-dollar contracts in Philadelphia have long been political chess pieces — and as the Inquirer reported Thursday, this one is no exception.” in June, Chicago-based management firm Jones Lang LaSalle will take over for PRWT. “The shift away from a “minority”-owned firm has caused some outcry from critics who have been questioning Kenney’s commitment to diversity. (…) The subtext of all outsourcing — whether to local firm in Philly, one in Chicago or one overseas in India — is that someone is making less for their labor, said Donald Cohen, executive director of In the Public Interest, a California-based national research center.” 

OTHER

40) National/think Tanks: The Roosevelt Institute has released a major report focusing on public vs. private power. They say “supporters of the privatization of veterans’ health care invoke ‘choice’ and individuality. U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos trumpets federal vouchers for private schooling as ‘education freedom.’ Yet, for most, these markets-solve-all-things ‘solutions’ actually forestall freedom and eliminate choice. Leaving low-income, medically vulnerable veterans ‘free’ to negotiate premiums, coverage, and drug costs within consolidated hospital, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries does not seem like freedom at all. Absent from the public narrative is the notion that government intervention can actually improve freedom and create choice for many Americans.”

41) National: Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) has released a plan to safeguard public lands, which she says “are under threat. The Trump administration is busy selling off our public lands to the oil, gas and coal industries for pennies on the dollar — expanding fossil fuel extraction that destroys pristine sites across the country while pouring an accelerant on our climate crisis. It doesn’t have to be this way. We must not allow corporations to pillage our public lands and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess. All of us — local communities and tribes, hunters and anglers, ranchers and weekend backpackers — must work together to manage and protect our shared heritage.”

42) California: In The Public Interest’s Jeremy Mohler flags a key piece of legislation that would force government contractors to reveal vital information to the public. “Corporations would — and many have, arguing that how much they pay employees who work on a contract, among other information, is a ‘trade secret’ and ‘proprietary information.’ A bill making its way through the California legislature would put an end to this absurd corporate swindle. Senate Bill 749 makes sure that information in state or local contracts about job creation, job quality, and job retention, as well as Buy America laws compliance, is not exempted from the California Public Records Act. We’ve already seen the difference that would make. Back in 2017, it took a lawsuit by a public interest organization to force a multinational bus manufacturer into proving they had honored job commitments in a contract with the Los Angeles Metro.” The bill is set for a hearing in the judiciary committee on Wednesday.

43) California: As Santa Ana considers developing some vacant lots, Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD)’s Karen Rodriguez says affordable housing must be part of the plan. “Santa Ana residents cannot rely on developers to address their most urgent needs. They expect and deserve their elected officials to do so.” OCCORD is an affiliate of the Partnership for Working Families.

44) Puerto Rico: Andrew Rice and Luis Valentin Ortiz write in New York magazine on McKinsey’s role in Puerto Rico. “According to invoices, it worked on ‘privatization options’ for the highway authority and also the insolvent, patronage-riddled state-owned power company. (…) Alix’s probe soon ventured beyond the narrow realm of bankruptcy, peering into a rarely discussed part of the firm: the McKinsey Investment Office. Founded in the 1980s to manage partners’ retirement money, the MIO has some $12 billion in assets. It invests some of the money in outside hedge funds and manages some itself. A 2016 Financial Times report revealed the MIO’s in-house hedge fund had turned a profit in 24 of the past 25 years — and Alix didn’t think that the stellar track record was a coincidence. ‘The MIO,’ he said in a deposition, ‘is central to the business model of McKinsey & Company.’”

Yves Smith writes, “a New York Magazine story by Andrew Rice, The McKinsey Way to Save an Island, pulls back the curtain on the consulting firm’s $3.3 million a month assignment for the five member oversight board that is effectively running Puerto Rico in its bankruptcy. What it reveals isn’t pretty. It shows the firm to be greedy and out of touch, confirming the picture presented by a recent alum in a Current Affairs piece, Capital’s Willing Executioners. And that’s not just my opinion. I sent the piece to several ex-McKinsey colleagues. All were appalled. As one put it, ‘I am so glad I left there before things turned so clueless and ugly.’”

45) Think tanks: A strategy memo produced for The Next Recession conference hosted by the Economic Policy Institute and the Groundwork Collaborative on Friday says “the current privatized system of credit ratings—with consumer credit information as the products and creditors as the customers—compounds the effects of predatory lending by holding borrowers solely at fault for the risky practices of lenders. Work to further regulate lending and to create a public credit registry would contribute to refocusing the financial sector on its core function of gathering and distributing money to where those resources are most needed.”