The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was meant to protect our economy from Wall Street greed. The legislation was passed into law in response to the 2008 financial crisis, which caused home foreclosures for millions of families and long-term unemployment for tens of millions of workers.
When you pay a financial adviser to help you invest your hard-earned retirement savings, you would assume that they would be required, by law, to have your best interests at heart. But because of loopholes in the rules, advisers can get away with not only putting their own financial interests above that of their clients, but also allows them to take incentives from Wall Street firms to recommend investments that drain funds from ordinary Americans’ retirement accounts through hidden fees and lower returns. The White House Council of Economic Advisers says this costs us $17 billion a year.
The Obama administration today took the first step to close a loophole in the rules that govern Wall Street brokers and financial firms that provide retirement investment advice. That loophole can drain away thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars of hard-earned savings from a single retirement account.
There is a loophole in the rules that govern Wall Street brokers and financial firms that provide retirement investment advice that can drain away thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars of hard-earned savings from a single retirement account. Today, a coalition of senior, union and consumer groups launched a new website—SaveOurRetirement.org—to mobilize support to close the “Retirement Advice Loophole” through a new rule the U.S. Department of Labor is trying to adopt.
Last month, a United Nations panel held that cutting off water to Detroit residents suffering from high unemployment rates and low incomes, leaving them unable to afford their water bills, was a violation of basic human rights. This past weekend, actor Mark Ruffalo and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) joined close to a thousand protesters in a march organized by National Nurses United from Detroit’s Cobo Center to Hart Plaza. The chants of the crowd included “We got sold out, banks got bailed out." And there were renewed calls for a financial transaction tax, commonly referred to as a “Robin Hood tax.”
Recent court filings by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that Brian Sutter, the staff director of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, could have been the source of inside information on changes in health care policy that led to illegal insider trading.
In his new book, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, Matt Taibbi takes a look at the growing problem of inequality in the justice system. Taibbi shows, through many examples, that the way justice works in the United States is divided pretty starkly between the wealthy and successful (and mostly white) and the rest of the country. The system assumes that wealthy Americans are innocent, even when they commit crimes, and their punishments are either nonexistent or minor. Poorer Americans, on the other hand, are assumed to be guilty and face harassment and punishment well beyond their crimes, particularly when coupled with the treatment the rich get.