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Sarah Anderson
Sarah Anderson is the Global Economy Project Director at the Institute for Policy Studies, a multi-issue progressive think tank. She is also a co-editor of the IPS web site Sarah's research focuses on inequality, Wall Street reform, tax fairness, and international trade and investment. She is also a well-known expert on CEO pay, as the lead author of more than 20 annual “Executive Excess” reports that have received extensive media coverage.

In 2009, she served on an advisory committee to the Obama administration on bilateral investment treaties. In 2000, she served on the staff of the bipartisan International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission (“Meltzer Commission”), commissioned by the U.S. Congress to evaluate the World Bank and IMF. Sarah is also a co-author of the books Field Guide to the Global Economy (New Press, 2nd edition, 2005) and Alternatives to Economic Globalization (Berrett-Koehler, 2nd edition, 2004).

Entries by Sarah Anderson

DNC Platform for Wall Street Speculation Tax

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2016 | 5:08 PM

The Democratic Party Platform Committee has taken a position in support of a tax on Wall Street transactions, according to a statement by committee member Rep. Keith Ellison. This is just the latest sign of the mainstreaming of a bold policy that would shrink the size and power...

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The Big Banks Can Be Beaten

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2016 | 2:03 PM

When the 2008 financial crash slammed the New York City construction industry, Maribel Touré's husband lost his job as an architect. On top of that, Maribel suffered a serious accident.

But what really plunged the family into financial trouble was sending their daughter to college.

As a child growing up...

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Sanders Wall Street Speculation Tax Would Not Harm Middle Class Investors

(2) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 3:08 PM

In case there was any doubt, the presidential election fight has confirmed that blasting Wall Street, even eight years after the financial crisis, is still a vote-getter.

Hillary Clinton has said she'd like to jail more bankers. Donald Trump has skewered the hedge fund managers who are "getting away with...

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Unless Trump Nukes Them, Danes are Very Happy

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2016 | 4:08 PM

For a country with a population the size of Wisconsin's, Denmark has figured surprisingly prominently in the U.S. presidential election debates.

In the very first Democratic debate last October, Bernie Sanders ignited a national debate over the tiny Scandinavian country's economic model by saying we could "learn...

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Trump Should Blame CEOs (Not Foreign Workers) for Retirement Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 5:11 PM

Donald Trump showed a glimmer of reason in his last debate when he defended his position as the Republican Party's only presidential contender who is opposed to cutting Social Security.

Alas, it was but a glimmer. A split second later, Trump took a loony leap from defending America's...

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US and UK CEOs Have Already Made More Than the Average Worker Will Earn All Year

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 12:22 PM

In New Orleans, they celebrate Fat Tuesday with raucous parades and bead-throwing. In the UK, they marked Fat Cat Tuesday with disturbing statistics about runaway CEO pay.

By late afternoon on January 5, the second working day of the year, Britain's top bosses had earned more than the average UK...

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European Breakthroughs on Financial Transaction Tax

(15) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 4:43 PM

Ten European governments have made major progress towards the creation of the world's first regional tax on financial transactions. This is exciting news for the growing campaigns around the world, including in the United States, to promote such taxes as a means of curbing short-term speculation and generating much-needed revenue....

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100 CEOs' Nest Eggs Worth as Much as Entire Retirement Savings of Bottom 41% of Families

(1) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 3:45 PM

If you think the pay gap in this country is bad, consider the retirement savings gap.

Just 100 CEOs have company retirement assets that are equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American families. On average, these 100 CEOs' nest eggs are worth...

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Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders' Surge Boosts Wall Street Tax

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 11:32 AM

There have been major happenings of late for the financial transaction tax. After many years (okay, let's face it -- decades) on the fringe, the idea of a small tax on Wall Street trading has moved solidly into the center of mainstream debate.

On September 12, long-shot candidate Jeremy...

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The Asinine Arguments Corporations Have Used to Block CEO-Worker Pay Disclosure for 5 Years

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 12:34 PM

Regulators of the Great Depression era could teach their modern-day counterparts a few lessons in how to get things done. Consider, for example, how fast the Securities and Exchange Commission of that era was able to implement the first executive pay disclosure rules, compared to today's bureaucratic foot-dragging.


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What Was Won in the Brutal Trade Battle

(3) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 9:41 AM

I tried to stay emotionally distanced from this one. It didn't work. When the White House and Republican leaders got the votes they needed in the Senate to advance "fast track" Trade Promotion Authority on Tuesday, June 23, it was crushing.

All observers agree that fast track will soon become...

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CEO Pay a Common Theme on Progressive Agendas For 2016

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 2:10 PM

The AFL-CIO has just launched the 2015 version of their annual Executive Paywatch -- the most comprehensive searchable database on CEO pay.

At major U.S. companies, CEO pay increased nearly 16 percent last year, the labor researchers found. That lifted the ratio between CEO and average...

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New SEC CEO Pay Rule Gets Low Marks

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 8:19 AM

In my more than two decades of work on runaway executive pay, sparking public outrage has never been the problem. The real challenge has been persuading the public there's something we can do about it.

To help change that, we've been publishing a list of more than 30 creative and...

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Taxpayers Subsidize Restaurant Pay

(3) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 5:17 PM

More than four million Americans work in the full service restaurant industry. Of these, nearly half rely on public assistance for their family's basic needs, according to Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United researchers. The total cost of this taxpayer-funded support amounts to more than $9.4 billion per year.

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Will Congress Be Duped Again on Offshore Taxes?

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 4:47 PM

Like a savvy bargainer on a used car lot, big multinational corporations have mastered the art of feigning indifference and walking away.

What they walk away with is their profits, stockpiling them abroad where they legally remain untaxed until returned to the United States. Then these corporations threaten to keep...

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House of Cards Makes a Wonk's Day

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 2:09 PM

I'm embarrassed to admit I'm one of the few people in Washington who has never watched House of Cards. But this sorry state of affairs is soon about to change.

That's because this hot Netflix show has just delivered me a pleasant surprise. A new episode uses figures from a...

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Study: Financial Tax Would Pay Off Big

(2) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 2:31 PM

Elected leaders in Washington are heading into another season of wrangling over the same old federal budget revenue shortfalls. But a number of European countries are looking forward to a revenue injection from a fresh and deserving source: high flyers in the financial markets.

Eleven EU governments are now working...

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Weaker Unions = Higher CEO Pay

(2) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 4:16 PM

As labor unions have declined in most countries around the world, CEO paychecks have ballooned. And that's not just a coincidence, according to new research from the International Monetary Fund.

In the latest issue of the IMF's Finance and Development journal, researchers Florence Jaumotte and Carolina Osorio Buitron give a...

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Dueling Wall Street Taxes

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 4:37 PM

There's a pattern here. Whenever the push for taxing Wall Street speculation starts to build some serious steam, the Obama administration dusts off their proposal for a big bank fee.

That's what happened after the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009. German Chancellor Merkel, French President Sarkozy, and UK...

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Dems Maneuver to Curb CEO Pay Loophole

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 1:44 PM

Right out of the blocks, House Democrats are pushing a tax reform in the 114th Congress that tackles the extreme gaps between CEO and worker pay.

The "CEO/Employee Pay Fairness Act" would deny corporate tax deductions for executive compensation over $1 million -- unless they raise salaries...

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