It was a historic event. Thousands of people came to the Washington state capital for the Women’s March on Saturday to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump, what he’s said in the past, and his possible policies.
As we all know, retirement is changing for people of all ages.
In Consumer Reports latest look at the topic, “The New Retirement,” it discusses new approaches and reaffirms the need to start early to plan for the future.
The new reality of retirement shows that 401(k) plans are getting better, retirement advice is getting more reliable, savers can essentially design their own pension through an immediate annuity that guarantees cash flow, and those applying for Social Security can get far bigger payments by claiming their benefits the right way, according to Consumer Reports.
After reports that the presidential transition team is considering ways to dismantle state consumer and investor protection statutes, known as Blue Sky laws, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement:
I am deeply troubled by reports that the presidential transition team is considering ways to eviscerate some of the most basic consumer and investor protection laws in the country.
Every day, state and local law enforcement effectively utilize Blue Sky laws to root out the worst types of fraud, corruption, and abuse on Wall Street and across major industries. In many cases, these anti-fraud statues are consumers’ and investors’ first line of defense against exploitation, particularly when retail and institutional investor dollars are in the hands of increasingly complex and opaque financial institutions.
In the past few years alone, multi-state fraud investigations into Wall Street’s role into the collapse of the housing market have recovered over $95 billion in fines, penalties, and most important, consumer relief. The investigations and prosecutions made possible by state anti-fraud statutes are among the most effective deterrents of misconduct, and regularly lead to critical updates to federal securities laws and enforcement practices of consumer protection laws.
Any attempt to gut these consumer and investor protections would severely undercut state police powers and only embolden those who seek to defraud and exploit everyday Americans. At a time of regulatory uncertainty at the federal level, it is essential that we maintain the very laws that have helped state and local law enforcement keep consumers and investors safe for over one hundred years.
Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
About eight years ago, I figured out Republicans hate poor people. Now, it looks like they're going to adopt policies that will increase the number of poor people substantially.
One of my big concerns after the Trump election is for older Americans, since I’m one myself. Paul Ryan, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, wants to do away with Medicare and cut Social Security.
Millions of older Americans are barely getting by with the Social Security and Medicare they currently have. When Social Security is cut and Medicare abolished, they won’t be able to afford housing, food, and health care.
Well, I expected Hillary Clinton to be our next president, so I don't have a photo of Donald Trump to post here. I considered going to one of his rallies when they were scheduled in the Seattle area to take photos, but I didn't want to listen to his insults of the day and fight the crowds.
Since I follow consumer issues, I know that Republicans will cut regulations. That's what they do. Paul Ryan has been talking for years about abolishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created after the Great Recession of 2008 to protect consumers in financial dealings. They'll also abolish the Affordable Care Act. People will go without health care and some will die as a result.
So, what deregulation does is allow corporations to do what they want. The Volkswagen and Wells Fargo scandals will look small compared to what's coming next.
Our boomer bloggers are feeling frisky this week. Maybe it’s the full moon or perhaps the goblins of Halloween are already emerging early…
They’re writing about what The Donald will do after the election, how fraudsters are using election themes to scam you, how costs are rising despite the 0.3 percent increase in Social Security benefits, how being kind can improve the world, and the challenge of being fully present in your life.
Click here to get the links to these boomer articles. And be sure to join in the conversations. Boomer bloggers love to hear from you.
The latest review of business lending shows the level of low-rated loans is higher than in previous periods of economic expansion.
This raises concern that future losses and problem loans could rise considerably in the next credit cycle, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Friday about their latest review.
The increased level of risk observed during the latest review, covering the first three months of the year, found increasing levels of risk in leveraged loans to highly indebted companies, such as those bought by private-equity firms and oil and gas portfolios.
Two federal agencies have determined that the 2015 resolution plans of Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, JP Morgan Chase, State Street, and Wells Fargo aren’t credible or wouldn’t facilitate an orderly resolution if they filed for bankruptcy.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law passed after the 2008 financial crisis requires plans, also known as “living wills,” for winding down operations during a financial crisis without the help of public funding.
The agencies have issued notices to the five firms detailing the deficiencies in their plans and the actions the firms must take to address them. Each firm must correct its deficiencies by Oct. 1. If a bank doesn’t submit an adequate plan, it may be subject to more stringent requirements, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Federal Reserve Board said Wednesday.
Then, later in the day, federal and state regulators announced Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $3.2 billion for false information it gave investors about residential mortgage-backed securities. So I wrote about that. Investors suffered billions of dollars in loses during the housing collapse that led to the Great Recession in 2008.
However, previously, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $1.8 billion to other federal agencies. So the total is a staggering $5 billion in fines to Morgan Stanley for mortgage-backed securities fraud.
Most of the other big banks also have settled for huge amounts, with Goldman Sachs the last one to finalize a deal. The fines total $64 billion so far.
Suddenly, I realized that Valentine’s Day was coming up Sunday. I had to hustle to write three articles: don’t fall for Valentine’s Day scams, a survey that shows more Americans want to hear “I love you” daily than people in other countries, and facts and figures for Valentine’s Day 2016. My readers like consumer articles about the holidays.
Meanwhile, other bloggers in our Best of Boomer Blogs group also are busy. For our 437th offering, which I’m hosting, they offer the following:
In an article she wrote two years ago, Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting waxes nostalgically in honor of Valentine’s Day in “Valentine’s Day the Old Folks Way,” which many boomers will relate to. It’s two years later, but nothing changes – only the flaws and foibles may be getting slightly worse for the wear.
This week, Tom Sightings of Sightings From Sixty has been worrying about what's happened to his "pension" – or, not exactly his pension, since he doesn't have one, but in his pension substitute, which is his IRA – and how it’s being drawn and quartered by the recent stock-market debacle. So in his post “Nervous About the Stock Market?” he reports on some sober but reassuring words from his financial guru in Phoenix, who tells us, basically, to keep thinking long term and to stay the course.
Click on the links to read the entire articles by these baby boomer bloggers. And, be sure to join in the conversation.
Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist