22 Oct 2015

Coca-Cola, Big Tobacco, Oil and the Need for the Fiduciary Standard

Coca-Cola, Big Tobacco, Oil and the Need for a Fiduciary Standard. What do all of these things have in common? At first glance, it would seem nothing, but there is a common thread: It’s about levels of deception. In some cases, these are deceptions that have lasted for generations and

20 Oct 2015

Senate Addressed Fiduciary vs. Conflict of Interest at Goldman Sachs

The more it changes, the more it is the same, is a paraphrase of a French proverb, but in this interesting exchange between Senators and Wall Street executives in 2010, in this case Goldman Sachs, the issues of ethics, fiduciary responsibility, and conflicts of interest were aired for one of the first

19 Sep 2015

The Propaganda Wars Against Marijuana, Global Warming and the Dangers of Smoking

In a democracy with so many forms of open communication and social media, it would not seem possible that propaganda would have a major role in shaping public opinion and government policy today. Yet despite all of the supposed sophistication among a population inundated with all forms of information and

04 Sep 2015

Principal Life Agrees to Lower Fees As Part of Class Action Settlement Offering Proprietary Funds

      Principal Life, a subsidiary of Principal Financial, one of the nation’s largest companies in the 401(k) industry, likes to portray itself as the folksy neighbor interested in your financial well-being. But as a recent settlement shows, Principal Life has no qualms about pushing its own, more expensive

27 Aug 2015

When Politicians Become Made Men

When politicians are in office, they see the huge money luring them to vote in a certain direction. When they leave office, they are free to more openly pursue that huge money. All they need to do is shed the veneer of respectability. When they openly take the money and

20 Aug 2015

How Wall Street’s Bankers Stayed Out of Jail

NOTE:  This web site very rarely publishes articles from other people (this is only the second one), however, this is an exceptional article by author and former JP Morgan Chase executive  William D. Cohan who gives a detailed account of how the banks have taken over the U.S. justice system

17 Aug 2015

DOL Seeks to End Victimization of Investors

In the never-ending debate about the retirement advisor industry’s adoption of the fiduciary standard–aka, giving a customer an even break–a Department of Labor (DOL) official has cut to the chase and said the fiduciary rule would effectively change the advisory business culture. And that’s exactly why the industry hates the

14 Aug 2015

LIBOR-Rigging Banks Reach A Deal and Conquer the World

In the latest part of this long saga about big rigging of the London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) that began in the early-1990s, eight of the world’s largest banks have agreed to pay a little over $2 billion to settle charges that their traders rigged the world’s largest benchmark for

06 Aug 2015

Former Attorney General Eric Holder’s Pathetic Example for Prosecuting Financial Crimes

Maybe it was just bad timing, bad politics, bad people or a bad system, but for anyone concerned about law enforcement and the delivery of justice to the afflicted, the administration of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder from 2009 to 2015 was a mockery of the law and a great

23 Jul 2015

What the Financial Services Industry and Psychopaths Have in Common

At first glance, mentioning the financial service industry and psychopaths in the same sentence seems insulting, illogical and controversial, especially to financial professionals and investors who, for different reasons, must hold the financial industry in high esteem. Linking these two terms is especially sensitive since the common view is that psychopaths are