Christmas came late to Wall Street. But my, oh my, has it come.
This is thanks to President Donald Trump, aided by Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street executives, who now have the run of the White House.
Today, President Trump issued two directives that could gut the rules that keep Wall Street from having its way with the American economy and working people’s and retirees’ retirement money.
President Trump has set his sights on doing what Wall Street and congressional Republicans have been longing for—undoing much of the Dodd–Frank law that was enacted after the financial crisis to rein in the most reckless behaviors of Wall Street banks, hedge fund managers and other financial industry players. Remember, we didn’t get criminal prosecutions of Wall Street executives, but we got a rewriting of the financial rules to stop Wall Street from wrecking the economy again. Now, we may end up with neither.
President Trump is also gunning for the new retirement investor protections, scheduled to begin taking effect in April. At the heart of the new protections are two commonsense ideas. First, if you’re a retirement investor, your best interests should come first—they should not take a back seat to the financial interests of your financial adviser. Second, how your adviser gets paid cannot conflict with your best interests. Now, President Trump is directing the secretary of labor to reconsider these crucial protections and possibly to rescind them altogether.
Yes, it's Christmas for Wall Street, and working people and retirees are getting the bill. Just reversing the new retirement investor protections could cost retirement savers an estimated $17 billion each and every year, according to a study by the Council of Economic Advisers.