Jun 9, 2017

House votes to give private equity a big transparency break

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

House lawmakers yesterday approved a GOP-authored bill that would repeal many of the Wall Street regulations put in place after the financial crisis, on a mostly party-line vote. Among the provisions would be the effective elimination of a requirement that most private equity firms register their funds with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Why it matters: Registration and subsequent examinations have resulted in numerous SEC findings of legal violations, requiring private equity firms to repay hundreds of millions of dollars to their investors ― including public pension systems, university endowments and charitable founders. In fact, an SEC official in 2014 said that the Agency had "identified what we believe are violations of law or material weaknesses in controls over 50% of the time."

  • Supporting: Private equity has lobbied hard against the registration requirement since it was first proposed, arguing that the industry does not pose the sort of systemic risk that Dodd-Frank was intended to curtail.
  • Opposing: The Institutional Limited Partner Association, which represents institutional investors with over $1 trillion in private assets.
  • Next: It's unlikely that Senate Republicans will take up the House bill, instead opting to write their own version of financial regulation reform via the Senate Banking Committee.

Go deeper

What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.