Saturday, February 28, 2015


By Arthur Ekrem - February 28, 2015

The Obama administration is preparing to put stopgap measures on what Wall Street will be able to do to consumers by way of limiting what crap products banks and investment firms can peddle on the street, while reducing the exorbitant fees we get jammed with as consumers every day.

This begs the real question, why has it taken over seven years for The White House to finally rein-in the financial products and services market after the Wall Street meltdown. Millions and millions of people in the United States were harmed and continue to be harmed as a result of greedy and unfair business practices within our banking and investment system.

The president has called on the Labor Department to create new rules for investment entities and brokers that will seek to reduce conflicts of interest and hidden fees that currently cost Americans upward of $17 billion from their retirement plans annually.

While this would seem to be a bipartisan matter as it reaches into the pockets of all Americans, the Democrats have quietly been swimming beneath the surface to stall or postpone these measures to correct Wall Street. This should serve as a reminder that virtually every elected official in Washington DC is in someway influenced by our banks and investment houses.

Of course, independent trade groups such as the Investment Company Institute (ICI), work daily to challenge the White Houses economic and fiscal research looking to shoot holes in the presidents suggestions, and claim the White House data is full of errors. This is a consistent strategy used within our bank investment infrastructure that for over 40 years now has caused our system to the erode. The strategy of challenging every solution posed continues to create a bottleneck and causes legislators to ultimately do nothing to help the consumer. Each year, The average investor loses more and more control of the fees they pay, the products that are available, and the lack of disclosure puts the majority of investors in harms way as they never really know what their money is being invested into, nor the fees they are paying.

For the last four years the Department of Labor has been trying to adopt rules designed to rein-in conflicts that lead investment brokers to steer investors into more expensive retirement investments in order to charge higher commissions or fees, when rarely is it in the best interest of the customer.

Three of the leading trade groups, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Securities Industry in Financial Markets Association, and the FSI have collectively spent over 16 1/2 million dollars in the past two years lobbying on this and other issues on behalf of Wall Street according to Senate lobbying records.

In almost every instance we can see where pro-regulatory reform groups fight progress on this front and it is quite transparent and the majority of opposition is being drafted by Wall Street lobbyists.

If the Obama administration has one swan-song that can truly impact our nation and leave the president with a somewhat improved legacy, this would be the battle to fight. To finally have regulatory controls in place which limit Banks and investment firms as to the crap they can sell to the American consumer, and further limit the fees they can extort for selling their garbage, then it will force the major players to present a better product to the American people with full disclosure as to fees and fund performance.

As the greatest nation in the world, so we are told, we simply must fix this problem permanently with swift action, or we risk another major financial collapse within the next 7 to 10 years.…… Of course, Time will tell!