A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

New Research & Commentary

Wall Street as a Matter of Life and Death

AIDS activist Bobby Tolbert speaking at the Take on Wall Street press conference, May 24, 2016.

For New York City AIDS activist Bobby Tolbert, drug profiteering and tax dodging by financial elites is a violation of basic American values.

The Perils of Underfunding the IRS


Underfunding the IRS helps the very wealthy at the expense of the middle and working class. So why do we do it?

Locked Out of the American Dream

Locked Out

A new report shows black families struggling to gain access despite the illusion of racial equity we see on television.

Fighting for an Alternative to Big Banks

Members of the Campaign for Postal Banking delivered more than 150,000 signatures on a petition to the U.S. Postal Service headquarters in December 2015.

Activists are demanding accessible, affordable financial services through the postal system as part of a broader campaign to rein in Wall Street.

Attention, Most Indebted Class Ever


The system is trying to squeeze you harder than any generation before you. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Ending millionaire tax breaks could change the face of America.

Let’s End the Pfizer Stock Buybacks

Ian Read

Stock buybacks have made execs like Pfizer CEO Ian Read fabulously rich. Bringing Big Pharma’s buybacks under control would be an obvious way of making health care more affordable.

Challenging a Wall Street Giant on Pay

wall street sign

A prominent shareholder activist is fed up with money manager BlackRock over the firm’s practice of rubberstamping obscenely large executive compensation packages.

An Embarrassing Child Poverty Ranking


A new UNICEF report has the United States, still the world’s richest nation, lagging behind countries like Turkey and Slovakia on efforts to significantly reduce childhood deprivation.

Inequality at the Heart of Verizon Strike

strike sign cropped

A veteran lineman reports from the picket line on the telecom workers’ stand against corporate greed. What can’t the Verizon CEO, he wonders, make do on just $25,000 per day?

How to Peacefully Redistribute Wealth


To narrow the vast economic gaps that divide us, we can’t just tax billionaire paychecks. We need to begin seriously taxing the enormous wealth billionaires have already amassed.

Blogging our Grand Divide

The Plight of the Lower Uppers

While taxes have increased on the top one percent in recent years, taxes on the top one tenth of one percent have gone down.

Who Doesn’t Want to Tax Inherited Wealth?

Law professor Michael Graetz explains how a scrappy group of political neophytes used the immense wealth of their backers to push the repeal of the federal estate tax from a nonstarter into the mainstream.

Bugs in Space and Tax Cheats

America’s affluent are misreporting their incomes big-time — and annually costing the federal treasury hundreds of billions in the process.

Close the Billionaire Loophole

Nothing signifies the Wall Street corruption of our political system and tax code as much as the “carried interest tax loophole.”

Tupac on Inequality

“There’s no way these people should own planes and there’s people who don’t have houses or apartments.” Who said it?

Can the Greedy Be Truly Generous?

Hedge fund kings are celebrating another year of super earnings — with more crumbs for the victims of the political choices that have made the hedgies so rich.

Onshore Tax Havens

American elites don’t have to go to Panama to hide their money — they can go to Delaware.

Dr. Billionaire, Meet Dr. Salk

Can we conquer disease without concentrating wealth in a precious few pockets? Not-so-distant history offers a clear and encouraging answer.

BlackRock Shareholder CEO Pay Fight

A Nation magazine look at the showdown at BlackRock over the dark role the Wall Street money manager plays in our nation’s CEO pay problem.

Our top reads

Twin Peaks Planet

Between our world’s twin peaks — the ever-richer global elite and the rising Chinese middle class — lies what we might call the valley of despond: the stagnating incomes of the advanced-country working classes. (source)

The Rise and Rise of the Top 0.1 Percent

New research unveiled in 2014 has solved the puzzle in our statistics on economic inequality. (source)

World’s 400 Richest Add $92 Billion in 2014

The globe’s 400 wealthiest billionaires are ending the year worth a combined $4.1 trillion, an average $10.3 billion each. (source)