Wall Street firms blamed for killing 1.3 million retail jobs

It’s not just Amazon, and the rise of e-commerce: Private equity firms are also being blamed for decimating the retail industry.

Wall Street’s gamble on retail is responsible for the loss of more than 1.3 million jobs in total over the past decade -- an estimated 597,000 at retail companies owned by private equity firms and hedge funds, and another 728,800 indirect losses, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center for Popular Democracy and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project,

The report estimated Wall Street firms are poised to impact an additional 1 million people working in retail in the coming years. In total, retail jobs have disappeared eight times more than they’ve been created by private equity firms.

“Wall Street executives exploit gaps in laws and regulations, and lucrative loopholes, to amass huge profits at the expense of working people and local communities,” the report found. “These massive profits pay for luxurious lifestyles for fund managers and their families, while workers and their families and communities face real hardship.”

The report called for increased oversight and regulation on private equity firms and hedge funds, as well as stronger workers’ rights.

Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren rolled out a plan to rein in the private equity industry, which she likened to as “vampires,” calling for a reinstatement of a modern-day Glass-Steagall Act, a law passed in the wake of the Great Depression that separated commercial and investment banking.


“We must end the worst abuses of private equity that kill jobs, hurt workers, & drain our economy,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in a tweet.