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April 1, 2015

Financial Reform Newsletter – April 01, 2015

Financial Reform Newsletter
 
April 01, 2015
 

Wall Street’s biggest banks try to threaten lawmakers fighting to protect families from another financial crash: Wall Street’s biggest banks have never taken any responsibility for the financial crash in 2008 that touched every corner of our country and caused economic wreckage for tens of millions of Americans. And now, they’re trying to threaten lawmakers who are working to prevent them from causing another financial crash.

Reuters reported this week that Wall Street’s biggest banks – the same ones that caused the 2008 financial crisis – are now threatening to stop campaign contributions to elected officials who are working to prevent another financial crash and protect Americans’ savings, homes and jobs.

This is just the latest sign of how disconnected the big banks on Wall Street are from families on Main Street. After all, Wall Street’s biggest banks only exist today because U.S. taxpayers bailed them out after their recklessness caused the 2008 financial crash. Wall Street got bailed out, while hardworking families got stuck paying the bill and they know it.
 
Americans still distrust Wall Street and big banks and strongly support tough financial regulations to reign in their recklessness. Majorities of Democrats and Independents and even a plurality of Republicans consider Wall Street and the big banks bad actors that don’t care about the interests of American families. That’s why elected officials are fighting back and making clear that they won’t be intimidated.
 
An overwhelming 80% of voters in 2014 battleground states agreed that politicians do too much to support Wall Street and not enough to help average American families. More leaders in Washington need to stand up to these bullying tactics and say no to Wall Street’s demands and dirty money. The biggest banks should no longer have a special seat at the policy table with elected officials who need to put the public interest first, not Wall Street’s special interests.
 
Conflicted retirement advice is hurting everyday Americans: The impacts of the 40 year old legal loophole allowing retirement investment advisers to put their interests above their clients’ best interest when saving for retirement aren’t just numbers on a page. Lives are being ruined every day because, although many advisers do act in their client’s best interest, far too many don’t since the law doesn’t require them to. Since the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to close this loophole started moving forward earlier this year, more and more Americans have come forward to tell their stories about how this legal loophole has impacted them. If you or someone you know has been ripped off by an adviser you trusted, you can tell your story here.

  

Phil Ashburn told lawmakers at a forum in Washington last week how, “my first advisor is now living in Florida very comfortably in a gated community, and my second advisor is opening new offices all over the San Francisco Bay area. Meanwhile I live on a strict budget and shop at thrift stores.” During the same forum, Christopher Lombardo told how this loophole cost his in-laws, saying, “In the end, the broker cost Merlin and Elaine more than $50,000 of their savings, and even more in legal fees, and other costs…Merlin and Elaine worked hard, saved their money, and prepared for their retirement. Elaine needed help, like so many other Americans, but was unfortunate in who she trusted would provide it.” Susan Bernardo explained in a new article out this week how trusting her stockbroker cost her a fortune, saying, “He made a lot of choices to better his fortune. He knew I was naive.”
 

These stories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why the Department of Labor’s proposed safeguard is so important for millions of Americans. And it’s why we need all Americans to join in this fight and stand up to Wall Street and their allies, who are working tirelessly to kill this commonsense proposed rule: they should be required to act in their clients’ best interest, not their own personal interests. 

 

Better Markets in the News:  

On Wall Street, Dem shake-up puts party at crossroads: The Hill by Peter Schroeder 3/29/2015

News You Don’t Want to Miss:

 
 

Wall Street Journal: New York City Comptroller to Call for New Fiduciary Disclosures by Brokers: The Wall Street Journal by Jason Zweig 3/24/2015

Insurance News Net: ‘Conflicted’ Advice Costs $17 Billion a Year, Says Trial Lawyers: Insurance News Net 3/30/2015

Huffington Post: Big-Bank Bad Guys Bully Democracy — And Blow It: HuffPost by Richard Eskow 3/29/2015

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