The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

President Obama Vetoes On Behalf Of Middle America

Fiduciary Rule:


A Department of Labor regulation prohibiting investment advisers from selling products with higher fees or lower returns just because they yield higher commissions.




Why would anyone in federal, state or local governance have issues with such a rule? If we consider US politics, the question becomes rhetorical. Which governing entity do you feel has issues with a fiduciary rule? (Rhetorical)

I recently sought out a few horror stories regarding investment advice/hype while contemplating the GOP's strong resistance to efforts to protect investors from investment predators. A story on the Reddit  r/stocks web page, caught my interest. The story that appears to embody the essence of Department of Labor efforts to protect against financial investment vultures.(The parenthetic descriptor was a personal add to the comment.)

This story was explained to me by a senior broker where I work. 
An elderly couple bought into the hype on ICPT (Intercept Pharmaceuticals IncNASDAQ: ICPT) last year and decided to move all their money out of an IRA into a margin account so they could day trade. Neither of them had ever traded before, but they decided now was the time. As luck would have it, they started the day that ICPT crashed a huge amount, sometime in March 2014 I believe. They bought as much as they could as it kept falling, fully leveraging their account. After ICPT had already lost something like $50 they started selling, but it was too late. At the open, they had +70k, and at the close they were at -250k. This was their life savings, and they had just lost it all and then owed us more than triple what they started with.

The story may not totally embody guidance from financial investors, it certainly shows the extent to which following bad financial advice can ruin the financial health of citizens.  

While exploring a core value of the GOP, follow as we explore points embed in a "fiduciary rule" promulgated by the Obama Administration. 

“fiduciary rule”

financial services industry advisers and managers must perform services for clients with a guiding focus as fiduciaries – effectively requiring advisers to  “solely in the interest” of clients – when giving advice regarding people’s retirement saving.
Are you wondering why such a "rule" would meet strong resistance from Republican members of Congress? Let's look a bit closer.

Within a year of President Obama's 2009 inauguration to the US Presidency, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule that would require financial advisers provide investment services in the best interest of their clients. The proposal was she

In 2010, the Department of Labor put forth a proposal to require retirement investment advisers serve in their client’s best interest. The DOL later withdrew the proposed rule in the in response to formidable GOP opposition.  In early 2015, DOL proposed a new "fiduciary" rule.

MarketWatch
On April 20, 2015, DOL proposed a new rule to ensure that retirement savers would get their advice from fiduciaries. After a series of unsuccessful efforts to block the proposal by brokerage firms and a failed attempt to attach a rider to the end-of-year spending bill, the final rule was released on April 6, 2016.
If you re-read the last sentence from the MarketWatch excerpt, the genesis of GOP opposition to the rule comes as clear as the proper camera setting on a Nikon Series 5000 camera. GOP members of Congress (and certain blue dog Democrats) opposition to rules the protect consumers is a core value.  A value that drives GOP policy with legislative and validates the party's service to monied interest and potential campaign contributors.

Last month, both House of congress voted in support of striking the fiduciary rule: the House by a party-line vote of 234-183 and the Senate 56-41, with three Democrats joining the Republicans. Republicans Senator Orin Hatch commented on GOP perception of the rule. white urging passage i the US Senate.  Note the corporatist tone of his comment. 
"Higher costs and a more burdensome system also means more expenses for small businesses trying to sponsor retirement plans for their employees,”
The shame of it all. Do everyday Americans stand ay chance of a productive life as long as the GOP has a group on Congress?


It is refreshing to know Democrats do to share GOP dedication to a better life for corporate  America at all costs.  President Obama recently vetoed the bill.

President Obama the fiduciary rule

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Veto Message from the President -- - H.J. Res. 88

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
I am returning herewith without my approval H.J. Res. 88, a resolution that would nullify the Department of Labor's final conflict of interest rule.  This rule is critical to protecting Americans' hard-earned savings and preserving their retirement security.
The outdated regulations in place before this rulemaking did not ensure that financial advisers act in their clients' best interests when giving retirement investment advice. Instead, some firms have incentivized advisers to steer clients into products that have higher fees and lower returns -- costing America's families an estimated $17 billion a year.
The Department of Labor's final rule will ensure that American workers and retirees receive retirement advice that is in their best interest, better enabling them to protect and grow their savings.  The final rule reflects extensive feedback from industry, advocates, and Members of Congress, and has been streamlined to reduce the compliance burden and ensure continued access to advice, while maintaining an enforceable best interest standard that protects consumers.  It is essential that these critical protections go into effect.  Because this resolution seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny retirement savers investment advice in their best interest, I cannot support it.  I am therefore vetoing this resolution. 

BARACK OBAMA


Can anyone who read this piece recall a legislative measure advanced by the GOP which offers improvements to life for middle and lower income Americans?  Think hard and dispense the thought that would come forth as a lie.



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