Conflicts of Interest Cost Americans $17 Billion Annually

$17 billion

Estimate from the Obama White House of how much money Americans lost annually because of conflicts of interest among financial advisers. Wall Street groups say that estimate is too high. Academics say it’s too low. The Obama administration’s Fiduciary rule — which requires advisers to have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their clients when dealing with retirement accounts — is set to take partial effect on Friday. But it may be short-lived: President Trump ordered that the rule be reevaluated, reports Bloomberg.

Republicans Succeeding in Fight to Kill New Consumer Protections from Banking, Credit Abuse

It has almost gone without notice that Republicans in Congress, at the behest of their corporate masters, are fighting a system of consumer protections from abusive practices by credit-card companies, banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions.

“And here we stand a year later with the minority, the side that lost, saying, well, I don’t like how that came out. And so, I think I have the capacity to stick a stick in the spokes, unless, the majority will do what the minority wants it to. You know, that’s not how democracy works, and it’s not how this agency works. It’s just wrong.”
– Elizabeth Warren

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will oversee the protections, was created by Congress and written into law last year. But since then, Republicans have been demanding a do-over in order to rewrite the new law to make it more palatable to their sponsors in the financial industry.

They are using the same hostage-taking, extortion-like tactics to kill these consumer protections as they have been in the budget and deficit-ceiling debates. In this instance, they are putting holds on confirmation of Pres. Obama’s nominees to head the CFPB.

And they are succeeding. They have refused to confirm Elizabeth Warren as head of the agency. Warren, the Harvard professor who was appointed by the Senate to recommend reforms after the financial crash in 2008 and subsequently by the president to create the new agency, is one of the good guys in Washington. What Repubicans have done to her is a travesty.

In an interview on CNN yesterday, Wolf Blitzer asked Warren about the political attacks on her and the consumer protection agency by Republicans: